According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
We regarded mental conditions as something separate from our overall health for too long and detached the mind from the body. According to Bernard J. Tyson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente, “We face an epidemic of mental health problems that cuts across borders, economies, and cultures, and it carries a stigma that leaves people suffering in silence.” As a result, millions of people needing mental health support have been ignored, with a dramatic impact on economic resources, productivity, and output.
In reality, mental and physical health are closely connected with each other and contributes to our overall well-being. In order for future generations to have a more prosperous and happier life, we have to admit this and start focussing on the root cause of a condition that should be recognised more seriously.
Efforts to tackle major global problems such as mental health, must be collaborative and sustainable in order to succeed. In this spirit, Tyson urged leaders to join him in considering the adoption of four critical priorities to support mental health and wellness.
A healthy mind is just as important to our overall health as a healthy heart and strong bones.
While depression is the condition most will associate with mental health issues, it is not the number one mental health concern people face, even though it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Believe it or not, the culpability for the biggest mental health problem goes to anxiety.
According to Sean Flemming, Senior Writer of Formative Content, an estimated 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders.
This is what the statistics look like:
Head of Paediatrics at the University of the Free State, Professor Andre Venter, has said that South Africa has the highest levels of anxiety in children in the world and it is on the increase. This is why experts believe stress-management techniques should be built into the school curriculum.
Mandy Herold, Head of Junior Preparatory at The Ridge School, advocates a system of teaching behaviour called Conscious Discipline, which is a series of skills to help children problem-solve and stay on task. But in order for children to have the ability to learn these skills they need to feel safe and loved.
Seven skills of Conscious Discipline
Cipla’s mental health partner, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), have an excess of resources across various channels available to help people cope with mental health pressures.
Here are some helpful tips from SADAG to reduce stress:
Whether you are helping a friend, or need help yourself, you can call the Cipla SADAG’s 24-hour mental health helpline on 0800 456 789 or send a message via WhatsApp on 076 882 2775 between 9am – 5pm.
Mental health (World Health Organisation, Bernard J. Tyson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente, Sean Flemming, Senior Writer of Formative Content, Professor Andre Venter, Head of Paediatrics, University of the Free State, Mandy Herold, Head of Junior Preparatory at The Ridge School) Accessed June 2020