Why is Mental Health important?


Why is Mental Health important?


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health has been defined as a state of physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing and not necessarily the absence of a disease or an infirmity. This simply means a man who is not mentally fit with the absence of injuries on the body and diseases is not healthy. Mental health is as important as physical health. People need to be healthy all round to be active. Every society needs mentally healthy people for rapid development.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health as defined by WHO is the mental well being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and is able to make a contribution to his immediate environment or community.

Therefore, mental health is required for the development of an individual and his community at large. A human who is not mentally aware of his environment and cannot detect right from wrong may be mentally unfit or ill. Over the years, there have been a few discoveries as to why people are mentally ill.

Research has it that over 450 million people in the world suffer from mental illnesses. WHO and its findings in 1992 concluded that in the year 2020, depression which mostly leads to suicide will be a burden and as we know, depression has become an order of the day in our societies.

What is Depression?

Depression is a clinical mental condition that is characterized by a change in behaviour. People with depression usually show signs of loss of interest in activities, the desire to be alone, moody appearance, depending on an individual, there could either be a loss of appetite or a rapid increase in appetite that may lead to obesity, excessive sleep or the loss of it.

All of these gradually affect a person’s way of living, costing the individual his social life, employment, education and can also lead to poverty. The causes of depression vary from psychological and emotional stress, biological and social sources. A way out is to seek medical attention. An individual with depression can also take antidepressants and seek cognitive behavioural therapy.

Mental health is so critical that it affects the productivity and quality of one’s life. If a person is mentally ill, it can tell on the decisions they make, it speaks in their behaviour and outrightly tells whether or not one needs help.

Why is Mental Health Important?

As earlier stated, the productivity of a person and life quality is greatly influenced by mental health. If there happens to be a high rate of people with poor mental health in a society where young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 are dominant, there will be less social and economic development in that society.

Our mental health is important because it determines how we feel, live and act. A person’s mental health does not just affect the intellect, it also affects a person’s appearance. Poor mental health can also lead to poor eating and physical habits. Poor mental health or ill health can affect a person’s social lifestyle, it can also lead to unemployment, broken homes, etc.

If an individual’s mental health is failing, it can lead to unsafe sexual health practices, drug abuse, crimes, etc. Findings have it that a poor state of mental health can have an individual’s health diminish into a malfunction of the immune system.

Patients with diabetes, different kinds of body cancers, heart failures, etc. are most times found to be depressed, thereby decreasing their chances of health restoration. Mental health is important because it has a direct impact on; education, relationships, physical and emotional health, productivity, family and society at large.

Causes of Mental ill Health;

Infections which lead to brain damage
Brain defects
Neuro transmitters

The World Health Organization has initiated programs and supports governments who advocate for mental health. The organization, however, insists that governments ought not to focus on mental disorders but rather promote psycho-social activities to build and strengthen the mental health.

The need to have mentally stable individuals push for the development of societies is essential. Some of these mental health programs in communities include:

  1. Support for elderly populations
  2. Skills building programs for children
  3. Youth development
  4. Early childhood interventions for detection and easy swift treatment
  5. Promotion of mental health activities in schools and religious organizations
  6. Mental health awareness programs in communities
  7. Mental health interventions at work.
  8. These programs and more seek to promote the mental wellbeing of individuals in societies for personal and social development.


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