Mental HealthPolicy

Mental Health and Economy: How Do They Influence Each Other?

What is Mental Health?

The WHO defines mental health as the social, psychological, and emotional well-being of an individual. It influences how we interact with people, handle stress and make choices. Mental health is an indivisible part of public health that affects social and economic capital. Individuals of all ages ranging from childhood to old age can suffer from mental health issue.

The following factors contribute to mental health

·      Biological factors such as genes and chemistry

·      Life experiences such as trauma or abuse

·      Family history of mental health and related issues

Early Warning Signs of Mental Health Problems

  • Feeling like mind is not working in the correct direction
  • Difficulty in thinking clearly
  • Odd ideas and feeling unreal
  • Fear of suspicion, trust, and that others will harm you
  • Lack of social interest
  • Loss of motivation and losing interest in hobbies, sports, and academics (anhedonia)
  • Loss of emotional interest in people

How Mental Health Issues Affect our Economy?

The economic crisis affects the mental health of individuals which leads to an increase in suicides and deaths. However, the vice-versa is also possible as mental health can also affect economy by offsetting social welfare and other policies. People suffering from mental health problems lose social interest and also due to of a lack of concentration, they are not able to give their full potential in the organization, which directly impacts economic growth.

Mental health problems lead to hardships, indigence, and dearth. It also affects the other social aspects of health. Good mental health allows for rational and emotional flexibility which are the basis of good social life and skills. Mental capital is vitally important for families, communities, and societies. Our society works by transferring and circulating knowledge to different individuals. Hence, mental health is important for sustaining economic productivity.

Most of the organisations and authorities in European countries give prime importance to mental health for their people. They deeply focus on mental health as such issues can lead to poor education, poverty, and unemployment.

Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

The workplace has a dual effect on the mental health of the individual. It may either cause stress due to its culture and the people working in the organization or it can be supportive and contribute to the overall well-being of the individual. Many studies have show that due to poor mental health, people abstain from their duty and many may also opt for early retirement from their organizations.

The role of the workplace and the people working play a critical role in contributing to the mental well-being of an individual. Stressful work environments can cause people to suffer from mild to moderate mental health issues. A negative workplace environment could tip them off and make them not want to work.

What can be done?

The impact of an economic crisis should be well understood. Policies should be strengthened to minimize the impact of the recession on deaths and injuries arising from suicidal and alcohol abuse. The government’s role is imperative in strengthening these policies and must consider re-orienting budgets to protect both the present and future populations. Since alcohol also affects mental health, the government should introduce some strict alcohol rules, either by increasing its price or fixing a certain minimum price. Such policy will reduce the harmful effect of alcohol on public mental health.

The age from childhood to adulthood is the most sensitive phase of mental development as a lot of changes occur during this timeframe. People of this age are quite fragile. Any kind of abuse and substance-abuse problems children more sensitive and are affected when they encounter such events. Schools are the universal place for delivering knowledge to make children learn. Hence they must specifically focus on the children’s mental health and promote it in order to protect the future of the country.

Providing mental health service by continued effects to develop mental health care support system will financially support the well-being of the community.

Author

Ritika Gupta

Ritika Gupta is an MPharm. graduate who is keen on spreading awareness about various unexplored medical fields through her writings.

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