May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In recent years, mental health has become a huge topic of discussion in our communities, on social media and in national news — but there is still a stigma surrounding mental health that prevents us from openly discussing it among our family, co-workers and peers. This month we’re bringing you a comprehensive guide to mental health — what it is and what we’re doing here at NEBA Health to break the stigma and initiate the conversation.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health, according to the The World Health Organization, can be defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The WHO definition reflects how the definition of mental health has evolved in modern times. Rather than being diagnosis-focused, mental health now refers to a degree of wellness in the same way we define physical health.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Mental Illness
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. They affect 18.1% of the population age 18 and older. That is almost 2 in every 10 people. The most shocking part? Only 36.9% of people suffering with anxiety disorder actually receive treatment.
Mental illnesses often co-occur — almost half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. People with anxiety/depression also commonly suffer from bipolar disorder, eating disorders, sleep disorders and adult ADHD.
What Determines Mental Health?
In the same way different factors play into our physical health, several elements affect our mental health as well. They can be summed up into three main categories:
- Biological Factors
Biological factors for mental health are largely out of our control. They include genetics, infection or disease that affects the brain, brain injury/trauma and even pre- and post-natal effects. Some things we can control are substance abuse and poor nutrition.
Physiological factors are experiences we have that can often do a number on our mental state. These include things like emotional, physical or sexual abuse as well as grief and neglect.
Stressors in our everyday lives are also huge factors for mental health. Divorce, financial stress, work and big life changes are just a few of them. Social expectations can also play a part.
When it comes to risk factors for mental illness some people are more susceptible than others. Age, race, gender and socioeconomics all play a role as well. With all of these things in mind, it can feel like we have little to no control over our mental wellness. So, what can we do to help?
We’re On It
At NEBA Health we know that your physical and mental health are connected. With your overall well-being in mind, our focus is on how the products we develop can help you and your family take control of your mental health. Join us on our mission for happy, healthy brains!