Isolating The Real Problem: An Informed Look At The Current State Of The World’s Mental Health
Historically, mental health has been seen as something that should be swept discreetly under the proverbial carpet. Today, mental health remains an enigma to many people. Countless stigmas around it tend to drive those affected even closer to the deep end. These stigmas need to be demolished and safe environments need to be created that are nothing but supportive and understanding for those affected.
This is easier said than done though, especially when the world is hit with a pandemic. COVID-19 ambushed us. As a result, we became hyper-aware of our physical well-being, forcing concerns around mental health (which were already attempting to reach out from the back lines) to be pushed even further into the background.
One unexpected symptom of COVID-19 is the development of depression and other stress-related disorders. With increased screen time leaving our devices as the only parts of our lives that are being recharged, our mental immunity has been run down to an all-time low. It doesn’t help that news apps and social media alike constantly bombard us with sombre headlines.
This all sounds terribly gloomy. Luckily we are not in this battle unarmed. Information is a powerful weapon and GWI has got us covered. Their brand new Connecting The Dots report features the article, More Than Lockdown Blues, in which they take a closer look at the current state of the world’s mental health. From causes to coping mechanisms to beautifully presented statistics these all come together to form a kind of mini-mental manual and we’re here to show you the highlights.
The youth have been particularly affected, Gen Z, being the most concerned about their mental wellbeing - even placing it above the need for a vaccine. Their once bright and clear futures have become clouded and uncertain with their education and careers seemingly having been nipped in the bud.
On average, 31% of people are concerned about their mental health in these times but some groups have stood out above others. In the article, GWI hones in on women aged 16-24, saying that their familial burdens have been made heavier due to COVID-19. Those in hospitality have also been under severe amounts of stress due to lockdown restrictions that have “lowered demand and created an uncertain climate.”
It is important to note that all hope is not lost and besides seeing a medical professional, there are ways to help alleviate these stresses at home. The two most popular methods are listening to calming music and spending time with family and loved ones. The key to ensuring a healthy mind is communication - whether with yourself or with your loved ones. Sometimes just venting out all your plaguing thoughts and frustrations helps to lesson the built up pressure.
Where Does This Leave Us?
The new year brings with it a new sense of hope. Whether COVID-19 stays or goes, mental health should still be a top priority as its impact is likely to last for quite some time. Education goes a long way; ensuring that friends, family, and colleagues are aware of how to cope with daily stresses is a step in the right direction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health related issues, mentalhealthsa.org.za is a great website to learn more. There is a page dedicated to surviving the COVID-19 lockdown along with a plethora of information regarding mental health. If you are concerned that the problem is persisting, it would be advised to seek the help of a medical professional.
If you or your organisation require localised versions of this report, or consumer data regarding any number of topics, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to speak to YOUKNOW’s African GWI team.