Cultivating Good Mental Health - A National Priority

Research led by Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge’s Biomedical Research Centre highlights the alarming prevalence of mental health issues and the need for urgent attention.

Mental health is the well-being of a person emotionally and psychologically. It is of paramount importance, equivalent to physical health. The world has gradually accepted this fact, but Pakistan still lags in recognizing the significance of maintaining good mental health.

People often neglect to acknowledge mental health issues as legitimate illnesses, and even when they do, they rarely accept the fact that they are mentally ill. If a person suffers from fewer and fewer is treated as an illness, then if a person faces depression, it should also be treated as an illness.

Mental health is rapidly growing, and according to statistics, one in five individuals between the ages of 13 and 18 in the US experiences mental health issues. As of 2019, nearly one billion people were living with a mental health issue, making it a leading cause. These results are extremely alarming, and sudden action should be taken as early as possible.

Keeping in view these statistics, a recent study was conducted to investigate the further effects of mental health on humans, published in a well-known peer-reviewed journal called BMJ Mental Health, an open-access journal from BMJ covering relevant research on mental health. The research was conducted by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in collaboration with the University of Cambridge’s Biomedical Research Centre.

According to some journals, the professor who led the research at Anglia Ruskin University was Dr. Shanlee Higgins, who is the professor of public health, accompanied by peers such as Dr. Anna Moore, Dr. Pul Wilkinson, Dr. Peter Jones, and several others.

The professor who led the research from the University of Cambridge’s Biomedical Research Centre was Tamsin Ford; she is the professor of child and adolescent psychiatry, although the specific team members led by her were not disclosed. The collaborative effort between the two prestigious universities uncovered complex underlying facts.

The research, which encompassed data from 194,123 psychiatric patients worldwide, revealed that individuals experiencing severe mental health issues were more likely to report multimorbidity, leading to additional problems like cancer and other diseases.

The study concluded that treatment is essential, yet a staggering 71% of individuals with mental health problems globally do not receive necessary services for treatment.

Dr. Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) further emphasised, “Mental health forms the foundation of our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships, and shape the world we inhabit. Our research unequivocally demonstrates that individuals with severe mental illness face a significantly higher risk of experiencing physical multimorbidity.”

Thus, it is very important for the government of Pakistan to raise awareness among the masses to save people from falling prey to it. If a real difference is to be made in society, then relevant campaigns should be launched in schools and colleges.

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