Mental health is integral to living a healthy, balanced life. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five American experience mental health issues which translates to more than 40 million adults a year.
Our mental health encompasses our psychological, emotional and social well-being. This means it impacts how we feel, think and behave each day. Our mental health also contributes to our decision making process, how we cope with stress and how we relate to others in our lives.
Research shows that one in five adults in America — 43.8 million people — experience mental illness, which is 18.5% of our total population. This means that mental health issues frequent our population and affect everything we do.
According to HealthyPeople.gov, “neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States.” Left untreated, mental illness creates widespread disability. It stops us from showing up to each day, stifles our abilities, and slows our pace.
Unfortunately, suicide rates rise when mental health is neglected. Mental health is important because it affects everything. It affects our ability to cope, adapt, and solve problems. It also affects our ability to be happy, productive, and well adjusted.
Mental health is a topic that gets stigmatized so often in our society. If someone is having a mental health issue, they are less likely to get help because of that stigma and shame.
But there’s nothing to be ashamed of. The wirings of your brain are not your fault. Yet, we act like it is our fault and discount its importance.
Mental illness also gets misunderstood by those who have never experienced it. It becomes up to us to advocate for our needs and educate others about our issues.
We become experts of “lived experience.”
There is a spectrum of how we experience things. We may sometimes lose control but regain it overall. Or we may experience the extremes of high and low emotions and not be able to cope. We may fall somewhere in between.
Things unravel when left untreated. But that doesn’t mean that it becomes too late. Anything’s possible. When we remember that, we give ourselves a fighting chance again.
Emotional and mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving. It plays an important part in the health of your relationships, and allows you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with adversity.
Thus the Mental Health is linked to behaviour and seen as fundamental to physical health and quality of life.
- Physical health and mental health are closely associated and it is proved beyond doubt that depression leads to heart and vascular diseases
- Mental disorders also affect persons health behaviour like eating sensibly, regular exercise, adequate sleep, engaging in safe sexual practices, alcohol and tobacco use, adhering to medical therapies thus increasing the risk of physical illness.
- Mental ill health also leads to social problems like unemployment, broken families, poverty, drug abuse and related crime.
- Poor mental health plays a significant role in diminished immune functioning.
- Medically ill patients with depression have worse outcome than those without.
- Chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease increases the risk of depression