There is the widespread belief that only a select few experience mental ill-health. The expressed selected few are said to be persons who are predisposed because of genes or familial history. The reality is mental illness can affect anyone because of varying reasons or situations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2001 Report one in four persons worldwide will experience mental ill-health regardless of familial predisposition.

What is Mental Health? 

Mental Health speaks to an individual’s ability to grasp his or her capabilities while responsibly coping with life stressors, work, and contributing to society.

1 Signs and Types of Mental Ill-health

Mental ill-health can appear in varying ways. Some warning signs of mental ill-health include changes in sleep/appetite, reduction in personal care, dramatic mood shift, social withdrawal, disinterest in daily activities, inability to think and make decisions, the sensitivity of all or some senses, heightened nervousness, and disconnect from self. Mental Ill-health has no one trigger. Adults or children can experience mental ill-health. The common forms of mental health disorders include anxiety, depression disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar. Other mental health disorders include stress-related disorders, dissociative disorders, somatic symptom disorders, substance-related disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurocognitive disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders, disruptive disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

2 How To Safeguard Mental Health 

Mental ill-health can be prevented and maintained with healthy practices. Caring for your mental health incorporates speaking about your feelings, asking for assistance, being physically active through exercise, eating well-balanced meals daily, taking part in something your skills permit, keeping in touch with family and friends, and taking deliberate breaks before burnout.


3 The Reality of Mental Illness 

Mental health continues to be a worldwide issue, meaning that the Caribbean is a part of the findings. Suriname and Guyana are the two Caribbean countries leading in cases of suicide in the world. When tackling mental health, the Government should weigh aspects relating to culture, environment, economy, and politics. In some Caribbean countries, only an average of 3.8 percent of the budget goes to mental health. These findings don’t depict ample provisions and adequate resources by the Government to impart mental health care.

Social stigma continues to plague Caribbean societies. The transformation of mental health in the Caribbean countries can only be improved and noticed with the Government’s help by forming mental health awareness initiatives, mental health care & treatment, and plausible intervention strategies. The complicating aspect for mental ill-health and the Caribbean lies heavily on the parts of poverty and unemployment.

Mental Health is possible, and Mental Ill-health is not a death sentence or a ticket to a miserable life. Treatments are readily available. Don’t let the stigma or discriminating remarks attached to mental ill-health prevent you from asking or seeking help from a mental health professional. Become aware and act accordingly to smash the negative thoughts by yourself and others surrounding mental ill-health. Failure to address mental ill-health because of denial or embarrassment is unwise and harmful as it hinders the achievement of attaining mental health sustainably. A person treated for mental ill-health with psychological therapy or medicinal means can go back to living life with less or no symptoms and a renewed approach to life.


4 COVID-19 and Mental Health


Covid-19 pandemic has placed the mental health of both adults and children under severe attack. The measures implemented, such as social distancing and lockdowns, to contain the virus from spreading has caused elevated feelings of isolation thus increasing stress and anxiety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stress surges increase the risk of suicide significantly. During this period of extreme stress imposed by Covid-19 mental ill-health is a reality. Taking deep breaths, exercising, mediating, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and avoiding the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other related substance use is critical to caring for your mental health in this pandemic climate. Mental ill-health has no respect for race, gender, sex, age, religious affiliation, or location.


Be wise ; choose to be aware and safeguard your mental health.

By  Jonelleo 23/02/2021