In our society we are being taught that physical health is very important. Since young, we have physical education to guide us through the process in learning how to be fit and healthy. However, we have not been educated on how important our mental health is.
Mental health is strongly tied to our physical health. Research shows that people with mental health tend to neglect their physical health. Mental health-related factors that can cause physical problems include smoking, lack of physical activities, poorer medical care, passivity towards screening tests and unhealthy diets.
Subsequent research, in many countries, has consistently confirmed that psychiatric patients have high rates of physical illness, much of which goes undetected.
In most industrialized countries reform in mental health care has led to the closure of long stay mental hospitals and the development of community mental health teams. Such teams are expected to meet the whole range of health and social needs. Hospital admissions are often short and infrequent, and physical health care is not necessarily given priority. However, many mental health practitioners have little training in physical care.
The experts also noted that mental wellness and resilience often has to start at a young age. This, however is neglected as adults tend to view the mental illness symptoms as tantrums children has and brush them off. The symptoms – often goes undetected – follow them through adulthood.
I believe that we need to take good care of our younger generation’s mental health in order for them to benefit in their later years. If you see your children showing any symptoms at an adolescent age, you should try to talk to them, or seek professional help. Getting them to do physical activities would help as well, as the brain releases endorphins which help boost their mood.
Roy Chan, Senior Manager