Today is a day where we should all observe World Mental Health Day to continue raising awareness so each one of us understands its importance for our overall health. This is also to assure those that suffer quietly that they can speak freely, without fear or embarrassment, just like they would do with any other health issues that affect them.
Mental health issues have risen substantially since the start of the pandemic – here are some health statistics that will give you insight to the scale of this problem – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-uk-and-worldwide
This year’s theme is so apt in our evolving collective awareness on the subject especially around ‘mental health in an unequal world’. This may not be relevant in the UK where we are fortunate to have the NHS, inequalities in mental health care however still exist. These present themselves by way in the difference of health outcomes for different people, just due to who they are. This is not new, however with the pandemic it has come to the fore as one of the biggest challenges now.
We are still far from reducing the gap between mental health care needs and the use of culturally appropriate mental health skills and resources. Using a ‘one size fits all’ to deal with mental health issues from minority groups such as ethnicity, LGBTQ, disability, age, children and lower income just does not work. What we need is a more diverse and inclusive program with equity being the central focus and consideration. This is why it is necessary for more people to come forward, especially from minority groups, and share their stories and experiences with mental health. And in doing so we hopefully all learn, plan and confront this inequality together so to create an empathetic and respectful world.