On October 10th, people and organizations recognize World Mental Health Day to promote awareness of mental health issues. Young or old, anyone can be at risk for mental illness. According to the World Health Organization, half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14. However, most cases go undetected and untreated. Therefore, the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries. It can lead to risky behaviors such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. Eating disorders are also of concern.
Fortunately, recognition of the need for long-term and short-term assistance is on the rise. Not only for the well-being of people but also for the economy, workforce, and society. Recognition in conjunction with World Mental Health Day pushes forward the needed resources. Having resources readily available for those struggling with mental illness and encourages education about help and prevention.
“Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness,” according to the World Health Organization. “Parents and teachers can help build life skills of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and at school. Psychosocial support can be provided in schools and other community settings and of course training for health workers to enable them to detect and manage mental health disorders can be put in place, improved or expanded.”
Source: World Health Organization
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255