May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Join me in this easy-going 10-minute episode as we talk about the latest facts n’ stats on mental health and discuss practical tips and solutions for taking better care of our mental health!
The podcast episode discusses mental health and the importance of being aware of it. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and it affects how we think, feel, and act. Factors like genetics, life experiences, and early warning signs can contribute to mental health conditions. Mental health conditions are increasing globally, with anxiety and depression being common. These conditions have a significant impact on various aspects of life and cost the global economy a lot of money. However, government spending on mental health is low. To address this issue, we can destigmatize mental health, promote emotional literacy through education, and practice mindfulness meditation. These steps can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It's important to prioritize mental health and take small steps towards advocating for it. Hey there and welcome to Shape Up with Keba, a podcast dedicated to all topics health, fitness, and well-being. I'm your host and wellness promoter, Nekiba Evans, and the topic for this week's episode is mental health. Not only will this episode feature the latest facts and stats on mental health, but I'll also provide you with practical evidence-based tips and tricks for how to take better care of your mental health. And remember, all additional information and sources will be linked in the show notes for you to check out. Now, let's get right into it. If you didn't know, the month of May has officially been recognized as National Mental Health Awareness Month. And you may be wondering, what exactly is mental health and what is there to be aware about? Well, according to mentalhealth.gov, the term mental health can be described as including our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health can affect how we think, how we feel, and how we act. It also helps us determine how we deal with stress, connect with others, and how we make choices. Our mental health is also vital at every stage of our lives, from childhood and adolescence all the way up into adulthood. Naturally, over the course of our lives, we may experience mental health struggles where our thinking, mood, and behavior can be affected. This could be attributed to the following factors, such as biological factors. So think genetics and brain chemistry, or our life experiences, which could be trauma or abuse, or simply having a family history of mental health problems. There are also plenty of early warning signs that we can learn to recognize for ourselves or others when it comes to mental health conditions. For example, feeling helpless or hopeless, smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual, distancing ourselves from people and usual activities, yelling or fighting with family and friends, eating or sleeping too much or too little. These are all examples of early warning signs when it comes to our mental health. And in recent years, mental health conditions are becoming more common. Not just in the United States, but they're increasing across the globe. The World Health Organization states that the increase is likely due to changes in the demographic, but also notes that there's been a 13% increase in both mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade. And to give you a better idea of the magnitude of this concept, the WHO also wrote that mental health conditions now cause one in five years lived with disability, adding that approximately 20% of the world's children and adolescents have a mental health condition. With this, they also noted that suicide has become the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds. Mental health conditions can also have a significant impact on all areas of life. This could include school performance and careers, our relationships with family and friends, and our ability to participate in our communities. From an economical standpoint, anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health conditions, cost the global economy one trillion US dollars per year. And one might think that with these kinds of numbers, the money allocated to helping reduce the burden of mental health conditions would be high. But as a matter of fact, the global median of government health expenditure that goes to mental health is less than 2%. And while many mental health conditions are treatable for the most part, finding good quality care that is affordable can be difficult for people who are on tight budgets, and or from low income families. So what can we do about this? How can we work together as a community to help change the trajectory of rising mental health conditions, not just in the United States, but across the globe? We'll be back with solutions after the break. This podcast is brought to you by me, Nikeba, your host and wellness promoter. And no, don't worry, I'm not asking you for money or trying to promote some service for you to try. But rather, I wanted to use this break to ask if you could kindly go back to previous weeks and listen to my newly posted episodes. I'm gonna be honest and say that I fell behind on several podcast episodes. And like many of us at GDC, I'm a full time college student who works part time, and it's just trying my best to balance life responsibilities, which can be quite stressful at times. Nonetheless, with encouragement from my peers and effective communication, and understanding from great professors like Dr. Wilson Bates, I worked hard to get caught up. And as an aspiring voiceover artist, I was determined to craft these episodes in the highest quality that I could, and would greatly appreciate you checking out my episodes and leaving me some feedback as we officially conclude the spring semester. Thank you in advance. Welcome back to Shape Up with Kayba. In this episode, we're answering the former question, which asks what we can do to help manage the rise in mental health concerns. Well, for starters, we could begin by destigmatizing, which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ultimately defines as removing negative associations of shame or disgrace from mental health, and being open to more authentic conversations regarding mental health. But why do I say this? I say this because back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, mental health conditions were often believed to be associated with supernatural forces and demonic possession. This often led to a history of primitive treatment practices such as trepanning, which is essentially when doctors at the time would drill holes into people's heads in an effort to release the offending spirit. None of this, quite frankly, was ever based in factual science. But because mental health conditions are generally not visible to the eye, like cuts, bruises, or war wounds, it's easy to see how this was the most logical assumption to many of those during that time period. There are also instances where people simply would not believe someone if they said that they felt like they were struggling with their mental health. Again, because it's not something that we can see to the eye, and they would completely disregard what that person was feeling until they reached a breaking point, perhaps turning violent and potentially causing harm to themselves or others. This is why destigmatizing mental health is important. The next thing we could do is promote educational programs and workshops that aim to teach people of all demographics, children especially, about how to become more emotionally literate. We must start early by learning how to effectively manage and regulate our emotions, as well as recognize when we may be struggling with our mental health. Because in the same way that we promote physical health and well-being, like nutrition and exercise, we must also recognize the value in our mental well-being, and collectively decide to be advocates for our mental health by taking necessary steps to help reduce our stress levels and know when our mental health may be getting out of hand. And last, but certainly not least, we could try practicing something called mindfulness meditation, which is ultimately a present moment practice where we notice our breath, physical sensations in our bodies, as well as our thoughts and emotions without judgment. And interestingly enough, May has also been recognized as National Meditation Month. There are even a number of science-based benefits that highlight the positive correlation between mental health and mindfulness meditation practices. In fact, according to an article published by the American Psychological Association, over 200 studies reviewed by researchers found that mindfulness-based intervention approaches have been known to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. And all you have to do is take a few moments out of your day to notice how you're breathing. And remember, you don't have to do everything mentioned all at once. You could take things one step at a time by simply learning ways to be a mental health advocate, or just having conversations with someone who's open to talking about mental health. It could even be as simple as listening to this podcast. Now, that concludes this episode. Don't forget to check the show notes for additional information and sources. Thanks for listening. Take care of your mental health, and I'll hear you in the next one.