Why Mental Health Matters
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week we wanted to take to this opportunity to consider why mental health matters. Over recent years, we have made progress in the awareness and support for mental health in the UK, however it is still not taken as seriously as physical health.
‘Just because no one else
can heal or do your inner work for you
doesn’t mean you can,
to do it alone.’
In the UK mental health only accounts for approximately 6% of the health budget, meaning there is a long way to go for parity with physical health.
Mental health still carries a great deal of shame, stigma, and misunderstanding, even though we are making great strides in this area across the UK.
Why is Mental health as important as Physical health?
There are 3 main reasons why mental health is as important as Physical health. These reasons are:
- Without Mental Health there is no health,
- Mental ill health has a big impact globally,
- Mental health is universal.
Without Mental Health there is no health
There is a common train of thought that says that physical health and mental health are separate entities, however in reality, they are inseparable. The human body and mind are interconnected, and each impact on the other. Studies have shown that poor mental health impacts our immune system, digestion, and the cardiovascular system. When we look after our body it can make a huge difference to our mental health and wellbeing.
Mental ill health has a big impact globally
Depression is the second leading cause of disability in the world, affecting 264 million people approximately. In the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of young men under the age of 50. Mental health matters because conditions that are low on the mental health continuum are one of the main causes of the global disease burden.
Mental health is universal
We all have mental health. In the same way that physical health comes in a spectrum so does the mental health. On our training sessions we refer to the mental health continuum (see right). It can sometimes take very little for someone to go from being in the Healthy Functioning section of the continuum to fall into Persistent Functional impairment or lower on the spectrum.
Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem.
Each one of us experience difficult mental health days, as well as benefitting from a world mental health is taken as seriously as physical health.
What is wrong with the Mental Health system currently?
Taking everything, we have looked at into account, mental health still remains under-funded and under-researched, in the UK and globally. In the UK, mental health researchers receive just 5.5% of the UK Health research budget.
Sadly, we turn on our TVs, radios, and Internet home news pages and all to often we read stories of how the services are failing those who need them most. Long waiting lists, budget cuts and restrictions as to who can access the services are all affecting how effective the UK Mental health system is.
We need the system more than ever in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization research has shown that 93% of countries have disrupted mental health services against the backdrop of increased demand. When we consider all the aspects of the pandemic, and their impact on mental health, for example:
- Social isolation,
- Bereavement, and
- Financial instability,
We can see all these things occurred during and are still being felt after the pandemic. It has never been so important to look after our own mental health.
you’ll always remember:
You’re braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem, and
smarter than you think.’
Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh
We hope that we have explained why mental health matters.
Want to learn more about mental health?
Why not book on one of our courses: