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Author Oche Maria Faustina


Illustration of mental health

Mental health includes the psychological, emotional and social well-being of a person or people. It directly touches how we feel, think, express ourselves, and relate with others and the environment as a whole. It also contributes to our decision making as well. Everything we do will either have a negative or positive impact on our mental health. Many people today think the mention of mental health signifies a problem. It is not always so. Issues relating to mental health are also under-discussed and appropriate measures are hardly taken. It’s mostly just talks.

Many people who are battling mental health problems will hardly open up. They do not open up for fear of being seen as weird or sick. And this is gradually bringing down society as it has gradually led to some committing suicide. Suicide ranked as the 10th leading cause of death among Americans and the second leading cause of death for people under age 35. It is also reported by the CDC that in 2017, 10.6 million adults in the US seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan and 1.4 million attempted suicide. These are statistics gotten from Rates and Statistics for Suicide in the United States by Leonard Holmes, PhD. If this can be for the United States alone, then we have serious issues to deal with. We often give less attention to mental health, what could lead to a mental health disorder, how to prevent it, heal from it amongst other areas.

According to,  mental health disorders are a wide range of mental health conditions that affect thinking, behaviour and mood. It ranges from depression to schizophrenia, addictive behaviours, etc. A mental health concern becomes a mental illness when signs symptoms stretch for too long and affect a person’s ability to function. A mental problem or illness can cause serious problems and affect one’s ability to function and perform day to day activities.                                  


Mental Health disorders can arise from diverse reasons, and among some of these reasons are:

  1. Injury

  2. Life Experiences

  3. Biological factors/Family History

  4. Finance

1. Injury

Injuries are one of the major contributors to mental health disorders. There are different levels and degrees of injury; the severity of an injury has a lot to do with the state of the victim and even the family. Imagine having an injury where both the hands and legs get amputated; how would you feel? No matter how you imagine it, it can never be a reality. Injuries like this have made people lose hope and faith in life. They feel and believe they are not good at anything and are very useless. It is even worse when the family is not a supportive one. It all starts from feeling useless and then they withdraw from everyone and just always want to be by themselves. Injuries go a long way in affecting the mental health of people, especially young people.

2. Life Experiences

Life experiences goes a long way with mental health; they go hand-in-hand. People are shaped by their experiences and these experiences dictate their interpersonal relationships. A child who has been raped will always live with resentment for her predator and the outside world. A change can only come if she gets help or is exposed to something that changes her mindset. A person who has been bullied or maltreated will definitely or in most cases have low self-esteem and it goes on like that. We are very different individuals and so does our experience vary. Sometimes, the level of the harshness of the experience equals the severity of the mental disorder.                                                     

3. Biological/Family History

We are separate and unique individuals with separate biological traits. Even twins do not behave in the same way all the time. Some people are not psychologically strong and due to these things get to them easily. There are certain people known as HSPs meaning Highly Sensitive Persons. These sets of people are very different and in most cases, people tag them as weird. It would not be wrong to call them special people. Their moods and everything about them is different from others and if care is not taken, they can withdraw at the slightest moment. As earlier stated, things get to them very fast and they overthink. People like this need to be understood because it is just the way they are wired. They are more prone to mental breakdowns than anybody else.

The family history of a person also has a lot to give t their mental health and balance. A child coming from a violent home will always feel and act differently from others when out there.  A family with a bad history will definitely, or in most cases, affect the child.

4. Finance

This is very much overlooked, but it contributes a lot to mental problems and illness. Some persons with mental illness will get better if there is a way to make money and sort out certain problems. Lack of money can or may lead to anxiety or depression, especially when there is a debt to settle.  



Our unique nature also means differences in how we show or bring forth signs of things we feel. That “A” shows it in a certain way does not mean we must wait until “B” shows it in that same way. Reasons like this are why a lot have committed suicide because we are busy waiting to see the same symptoms. Although symptoms are different in most people, these are the most common signs but are not limited to these.

  1. Overly high and low moods

  2. Extreme fear and anxiety

  3. Withdrawal from social activities

  4. Prolonged sadness



  1. Speak Out

Many people find it difficult to speak up and ask for help when they notice something is not right. They fear being called mad or being referred to as a psychiatrist. They do not want to be branded as weird or called a psycho. It is okay to feel this way, but it does not help anything. Speak out and ask for help if you notice something wrong in yourself or in someone close to you.

2. Accept Help

It is not enough to speak out. You must let people help you. Speak to a doctor or someone you know will listen and help. Seek help from the appropriate people and not just anyone. Accept the help and love shown by family and friends rather than neglect them.

3. Tread with caution

Dealing with people with mental health problems requires all the love and care you can possibly give or offer. Almost anything and everything triggers them and raises their anxiety, so it is important to be gentle with and on them. Tread carefully with these kinds of people, especially verbally. Your words can either destroy them finally or help them heal. You have a lot to contribute to their healing.


Society has labelled people with mental health problems as weird. And this is the reason a lot of them will rather keep mute even at the point of dying. To reduce the rate of mental health problems, society must do the following, but not limited to these alone:

  1. Extend an open arm

Society must accept with open arms people suffering from mental health problems. They must be shown all the love they might get and not neglected or abandoned.

  1. Make provisions for Personnel and institutions

Society must also rise with solutions as the case of mental health problems rises. Making available adequate personnel ranging from doctors in related fields like psychology and also necessary drugs and equipment.

  1. Enlightenment

Create campaigns to enlighten people that anyone can go through a mental health disorder. And it does not make them less human or incomplete. And we must all embrace and show love to those going through difficult phases of mental health disorders.

The fight against mental health illness or disorder is a war we all have to join. It is a war we must collectively fight and ensure we win the larger part. Anyone could go through or suffer from a mental health disorder or illness. It is vital to create awareness and make people realize this. It is only through awareness that the name-calling and labelling will stop.




Readersketch | Ed. Adesola Oluwafemi

© 2022 Oche Maria Faustina- Bakhita. All Rights Reserved.

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