Max is a long time volunteer turned employee for mindyourmind as a Youth Outreach Assistant. He enjoys blogging, cats, and the state of Utah. Check him out on Twitter: @maxamilli
Mental health isn’t an issue that we are ALL familiar with in Canada, or North America for that matter. It is something that is often swept under the rug, kept in the shadows, not talked about – and when it is, it’s in hushed tones. So if we aren’t talking about things like these, in a developed nation when most of our other health needs are met, what about in countries that aren’t in the same position as us?
A recent article called attention to the mental health of people living in Somalia – during the famine – and Afghanistan – a place not unfamiliar with war. These people don’t have the resources to address mental health, at times when they are just barely staying alive. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that on average, ten percent of the world suffers from mental health disorders, but this percentage increases to twenty when it is in an area of conflict. Perhaps due to stress or anxiety people become more and more agitated in a place where there life is threatened to the need to care for the mentally ill increases.
Keeping this in mind, the WHO has taken steps in both of these places to help people that suffer from mental health illnesses. They are introducing more humane procedures for dealing with these kinds of patients – I don’t need to go into details, all that needs to be said is they’re eliminating “chain free homes” – they are also aiming to increase societal understanding of mental health issues as well.
This is a big step in the right direction for war torn areas and people that suffer, but it also serves as a call to action for those in developed nations who aren’t willing to talk about mental illnesses themselves. One might suggest that these people need to discuss it because they are more “fragile” or “hopeless” than us, but that is not the case. If people in these impoverished areas can gain awareness in even the simplest ways, in our advanced society how can we not become more well versed in terms of mental health? It’s on us North America.
See the article here: http://dowser.org/addressing-mental-health-in-crisis-zones/
- by Max