How Oakland County Can Raise Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is a significant concern that needs more attention on all levels because it affects a significant number of the population in not just Oakland County but also the entire country.

But what is the mental health issue? An individual’s mental health is directly related to their feeling, thought process, and behavior. While mental health issues can get incredibly severe and affect people negatively, anxiety, substance abuse, and affective disorders are the most common problems.

Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Well-being

While mental health has been an issue for a long time, the COVID-19 has had a harsher effect on many people around the world. A survey by the Healthy Minds Network and the American College Health Association looked at over 18,760 students on many campuses to determine how students’ mental health has been affected.

OAKLAND COUNTY MOMS FAMILY HEALTH ARTICLES

One very alarmingly high result was that 66% of students reported higher stress due to financial complications. Also, 35.7% of students said they had to arrange other accommodation because of the pandemic.

The percentage of students who reported depression, a form of affective disorder, has also increased from 21.9% to 30.5%.

These are only a couple of results that were shown in the survey, and it’s only related to students. In late June of 2020, the CDC reported that 40% of adults in the United States have said that they have been struggling with mental health issues or have either started or increased substance use. Remember, these are only the individuals who admitted or accepted their problem. Many people aren’t even aware they have a problem.

So, how can Oakland County reduce the number of its residents in the national surveys of people with lower mental health?

● Supporting the organizations aiming to help and encouraging people to join them
● Increasing awareness of the issues and the solutions readily available
● Educating more people

Awareness
Whether its young kids, teenagers, college students, adults, average-earners, homeless people, or any other person, it’s easy to see that the percentage of sufferers is too significant to simply ignore.

Not only that, but the effects of mental health on a person’s life is can be considerably higher to simply ignore.

Stress, depression, and anxiety are incredibly common in the world today, unfortunately. That increases the need for more programs to spread awareness by the people who know a thing or two. While many organizations are actively helping out people, more individuals should be educated and encouraged to be a part of these groups.

The county should also try to increase awareness about the benefits of therapy by asking schools to talk to parents, employers to speak to employees, and so forth. They can help people look for signs that show a person needs to see a therapist, like this list on Forbes gathered by consulting with various experts.

Since COVID-19 emerged, a new form of therapy has become more popular. It is called teletherapy. In short, it’s basically therapy sessions online with qualified therapists. An Oakland based psychologist shared a story of a 10-year-old girl with the New York Times about how teletherapy sessions helped her overcome some fears where regular therapy could not have been as effective.

While encouraging forms of therapy, counselors, therapists, and psychologists who work online in Oakland should also get more spotlight. This can allow more people to get the help they need. If the therapist’s office doesn’t feel like a safe or comfortable space for people, they can use teletherapy and enjoy the benefits from their own safe space.

Educating More Individuals
Even though many individuals know they are stressed, depressed, or have other mental health issues, they fail to get help because they think it’s insignificant or just a part of life. Either that or they look for help in the wrong places.

Oakland should encourage more organizations aimed at helping people with mental illnesses to educate the population about the issues and some everyday things that can be useful.

While different things seem to work for various people, youngsters seem to be turning to the internet for help. A survey by the Well Being Trust and Hopelab shows that a large number of young adults and teenagers are searching the internet for help (90%). They are looking at blogs, videos, and podcasts to learn more about mental health issues. They are also using teletherapy methods (32%) and mobile apps (38%) for help.

Therefore, while social media and the internet, in general, have been linked to negatively impacting the mental health of teenagers and young adults, it can also be used to help them. This makes it apparent for the need for more online resources to help these youngsters looking for help. While Oakland does have online resources to help people, these need to be marketed more to the younger generation.

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