Mental Health

Mental Health

According to the World Health Organisation (2001) about one in four people will be affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives. Mental health problems refer to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour. Examples of mental health problems include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours.

What Causes mental health problems?

Studies show that there are a number of contributing factors that can cause mental health problems. They are:

Physical causes

Each person’s genetic make-up can contribute to being at risk of developing a mental health problem.  Substance misuse can cause mental health problems. Head injuries (traumas to the brain) can also sometimes result in changes of personality and in some cases trigger symptoms of a mental health problem.

Psychological factors

Some people may find it difficult to manage traumatic life events such as childhood abuse, bereavement or breakdown of relationships.  These experiences could have negative impact on their mental and emotional state

Social and environmental factors

Living in poverty, undesirable living conditions, social isolation, unemployment, or highly stressed in your work or studies can all put pressure on an individual’s mental health.

Family history

It is suggested that heredity can play some part in the development of mental health problems.  However, similar to many physical health conditions, the fact that a family member has developed a mental health problem does not necessarily mean that all other family members will experience the same condition.  Like physical health problems, the above factors also play a significant part too.


Most symptoms of mental health problems can be managed by medication.  However, medication is not the only way to help people.  Talking therapies such as counselling, psychotherapy and other creative therapies such as music therapy, dance therapy and art therapy are sometimes used to help people to relieve symptoms.  In addition, other supportive measures as sstated below can also help:

  1. Talk about your feelings to someone you can trust
  2. Keep active and do regular exercise
  3. Eat well and try to stay healthy
  4. Keep in touch with people who are important to you
  5. Seek help when you are finding it difficult to manage difficulties
  6. Do something that you are good at

There are different ways to support and treat people living with mental health problems but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental health condition never seek help from health care professionals.  Stigma, discrimination and neglect are some of the barriers for seeking and receiving the support needed for these people.  Early intervention can prevent unnecessary distress to the sufferers and the families. Therefore, if you or someone you know experience distress caused by mental health problems, it is important to seek support and advice early to alleviate the distress mental health problems caused.



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