Mental health is a topic that many people find difficult to discuss, often because of past stigma and superstitions surrounding mental illness. But how can we turn a blind eye to this when we live with it, and it affects us? Many friends ask me what mental health is and why they should care.
I usually tell them that mental health encompasses you, yours, and all. Your mental health is responsible for your emotional, social, and psychological well-being. In other words, it drives how you behave, think, act, relate with others, and make choices. It impacts every aspect of your life and is essential to care for from childhood to adulthood. It is not surprising that one in five Canadians experiences a mental illness each year, with one in two experiencing it by age 40. The global cost of mental health conditions is in the trillion US dollars, making it clear why we should care about our mental health.
Taking care of our mental health may boost productivity, improve self-perception and overall well-being, and strengthen our relationships with others. It not only makes it easier for us to operate daily but may also help us battle or regulate some physical health symptoms closely related to mental health issues. If you can effectively manage stress, then heart condition and diabetes are under your control. Similarly, when stress and depression are managed, you will find a change for the better in your dietary habits. Mental and physical health are interlinked and are vital elements of overall health. This implies that negative thoughts and experiences can result in other conditions or worsen existing ones. Addressing and consciously caring for your mental health should not be compromised.
The sheer power of mental health over our entire existence as human beings has always fascinated me. Given that maintaining mental health can be difficult in the face of barriers, we need to find tools and effective ways to improve everyone’s mental health. This is why I study innovative and cost-effective ways to improve mental health – but that’s a discussion for another day. Taking proactive steps to improve our mental well-being can profoundly impact our overall quality of life. So, let’s begin by paying closer attention to our mental health and making it a priority.