5 Reasons Why You Should Talk about Mental Health

Mental health is important. (Photo via Unsplash/ Emily Underworld)
Mental health is important. (Photo via Unsplash/ Emily Underworld)

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act and also determines how we handle stress and make choices.

Statistically speaking, there is a likelihood that when you shake hands with someone, that person might have had mental illness at some point. According to recent studies, 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem; 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14. Meanwhile, 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems do not receive appropriate intervention earlier.

According to research, around 43 million adults experience mental illness every year, which is a significantly high number. Yet, why is it still something we are afraid or rather embarrassed to talk about? In October, everything is pink for breast cancer awareness, and in November, men grow all their hair for prostate cancer awareness. While all that is important, we often forget or don't realize that mental illness is also a pertinent point of discourse.

Even for the most open-minded, they are judgmental to a certain, which is a part of being human. However, when that judgment escalates to discrimination, prejudice, and even hostility, it becomes a breeding ground for stigma.


Why We Need to Talk about Mental Health

We can make a difference for each other by being a listener, asking out of concern and empathy. The following are the reasons to prioritize mental health:

1) Discrimination and Isolation

Alhough there has been a significant shift in how we look at mental health, the stigma around it continues to prevail. That leads our society to label and seek separation from individuals with mental illness, causing them to feel isolated, fueling their own self-stigma and shame about their condition. That can also lead to unemployment opportunities, housing options, and even relationships.

2) Mental Strength

We focus on glam bodies and faces, but we often forget to take care of what's inside.

Mental strength involves developing daily habits that build mental muscle. It also involves giving up those habits that have held you back. It's also the ability of an individual to deal effectively with stressors, pressures, and challenges to perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances.

3) Consequences of Mental Health Disorder

When diagnosed with a mental health disorder, you may feel as if you have hit rock bottom and may not feel like doing anything. You may just want to lie on your bed and not enjoy activities you loved before.

It's not like the flu, where you can just rest and be okay with it. The feeling of helplessness individuals with mental illness experience is enormous. Studies suggest depression and anxiety can be more burdensome than a heart attack.

We cannot just brush off the symptoms of mental health like we can' for an illness like hypertension. There are neurochemical changes in the brains of people with mental health issues, and they need the appropriate help and support to get better.

4) Impact on Young Adults and Children

The impact of mental disorders on youth is unimaginable. ( Photo via Pexels/ cottonbro)
The impact of mental disorders on youth is unimaginable. ( Photo via Pexels/ cottonbro)

Recent studies have shown that the highest rate of prevalence of mental illness ais seen in young adults, which has more than tripled in the last decade.

Experts say that social pressure and connectivity to social media are contributing factors. There are more demands and needs on younger people; for instance, the need for perfectionism.

That may be driven by community, parents, and competition at school, and there seems to be a lack of resilience when it comes to dealing with stress as well. Most of them may also not want to discuss their concerns with others, as they can feel like a burden.

5) Mental Health Treatment is Necessary to Return to Normalcy

Treatment for mental disorders is available and necessary. ( Photo via Unsplash/ Marcel Strauss)
Treatment for mental disorders is available and necessary. ( Photo via Unsplash/ Marcel Strauss)

It's important to recognize that mental illness is treatable. Numerous mental health issues have been successfully treated with evidence-based psychological approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy.

They allow patients to continue their personal, academic, and/ or professional goals, allowing them to enjoy life once again. There are also other treatment options, such as medicine and brain stimulation. To ensure that the proper course of treatment and rehabilitation is in place, it's crucial to seek expert care, just as you would if you had diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or any other ailment.


Mental illness still has a lot of stigma attached to it, despite the growing focus on mental health in recent years.

This stigma can prevent us from recognizing when we need to reach out for help, but it's time we start talking about mental health. There's a simple solution to breaking the cycle of stigma, at least as the first step.

If we as a community can talk about mental illness in a respectful and real way, we can start to break that cycle. Reading an article like this can challenge people's stereotypes and misconceptions, and grow as a community.

Janvi Kapur is a counsellor with a Master's degree in applied psychology, with a specialisation in clinical psychology.

Edited by Bhargav