This Sunday, 10th of October, we commemorate Mental Health Day, and although raising awareness of this issue is a year-round event, this day serves as a reminder that there is still much to be done. Especially now, that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our mental health and no one is spared.
In a study conducted by the Chilean Safety Association and the Catholic University, 45.9% of people between the ages of 21 and 68 stated that their mood had deteriorated compared to before the pandemic. Furthermore, all of us who are dedicated to providing mental health care to patients have noticed this increase. We have also observed that one of the biggest concerns people have, are related to sleeping difficulties, which is a scenario that is sadly validated in this same study that shows that 46.9% of the people evaluated presented some degree of difficulty in falling asleep.
Naturally, our biggest problem has to do with the access to treatment because the healthcare services that previously collapsed started having more restrictions, making Mental Health treatment more limited and costly. Thus, this year, the World Health Organization declared that the slogan of the campaign is “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality” in an effort to make even more visible the inequalities that exist in terms of access to high quality and prompt mental health care. Although the causes of inequality vary from economic factors, educational level, age to geographic location, it is still a problem that affects countries in all levels of development.
But not all is lost. Virtuality has also brought enormous advances in digitization by creating new ways of bringing treatment closer to people who live far away from larger cities, and even lowering costs. In addition, the significant increase in the number of people with mental health problems in recent years, along with the pandemic, has allowed governments around the world to take real steps to expand mental health services at all levels. Because of that, various initiatives have been launched around the world to prevent these problems and visualize them.
The World Health Organization also seeks to promote self-care and the empowerment of each and every one of us when dealing with a mental health problem, which is the reason they will be making a series of resources and tools available. Along with that, they will publish collected testimonials from people whose mental health was affected by the pandemic and how they coped with it, and their reflections on the future of the treatment of mental health problems.
In Chile we also want to make a change! It’s possible! We challenge the system and we want a world where everyone has access to treatment for their mental health problems. Join our cause and let’s bring mental health and wellbeing closer to people! Don’t forget to chat with Mhaite and our Psychological Counselors.
Campaign of the World Mental Health Organization