World in mental health crisis of 'monumental suffering', say experts

Ally Finnis

By Ally Finnis Ally Finnis is a UNICEF Young Ambassador

On World Mental Health Day today themed 'Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World, ' experts said that many children are facing mood disturbances, including depression. PHCC and WEYAK, combined to raise awareness of the ways families can offer psychological support and care for children who suffer from mental health issues, helping to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

"Suicide is the most extreme and visible symptom of the larger mental health emergency we are so far failing to adequately address", they continue. In response, GKR has spent the a year ago raising awareness of mental health amongst staff. "In St. Kitts and Nevis, mental health in adolescence is also a reality". Global studies (Australia, Ireland, USA, and Norway) indicate that the major stress factors among farmers include farm finances, farm paperwork and poor farm work conditions such as safety standards, excessive workload and personal health. Avoid trying to use alcohol to relieve stress; it's a depressant and makes depression worse. "Suicide is a leading cause of death in young people".

Substance use disorders are more common for younger people (13%) than other age groups, while anxiety disorders are more common in people aged 35-44 (18%). Cooking fresh ingredients with friends or family at home and eating together can also make mealtimes more social and enjoyable. Deaths from intentional self-harm occur among males at a rate more than three times greater than that for females.

She cited WHO's definition of health, which states, that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity. They also lay out the numbers, writing that 800,000 will die by suicide this year - making it an issue that transcends geography. GKR is actively promoting information on these influencers to help individuals support their own mental health.

Data from the 2014 Mission Australia's Youth Survey showed that around 21.2% of young people (15-19 years old) met the criteria for a probably serious mental illness. However, there are simply no other accessible options.

"Stigma, fear and lack of understanding compound the suffering of those affected and prevent the bold action that is so desperately needed and so long overdue", the two wrote in a joint piece titled "800,000 People Kill Themselves Every Year". Also, almost two-thirds (65%) said they would feel uncomfortable asking for a mental health sick day - with embarrassment being the top reason cited, followed by not liking to take time off work and not wanting to let colleagues down.

"In fact, this organization states that half of all mental illness begins at age 14, but most cases remain undetected".

"Aside from this, Gibraltar needs to have enough psychologists and psychiatrists on hand to ensure that they can deliver on their expertise effectively so that service users, both in the community and in the Ocean Views facility, as well as in prison, can have adequate access to therapeutic support".

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