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Risk Factors for Mental Health Issues

An individual’s psychological well-being or mental health makes up a large part of their ability to have a life that fulfils them, including their capacity to develop and keep relationships, to learn new things, work at a job, enjoy their leisure time, and make any type of everyday choices about their housing, education, employment or other choices. Any disruption to a person’s mental health can negatively impact these choices and capabilities, causing lowered functioning at a personal level but, more negatively, issues to their household and to society.

What is Mental Health?

One common definition of mental health is “the state of wellbeing where a person is aware of their own capability to deal with the stress of life, can work productively, and can make a positive contribution to their community”. Referring to this definition makes it quite obvious that psychological well-being is affected by one’s individual traits, but also by their socioeconomic circumstances and the environment that they find themselves in on a daily basis.

Individual Behaviour and Attributes

These are related to an individual’s native, as well as learned, capabilities to deal with their feelings and thoughts, and to take care of themselves in their daily life, as well as their emotional capability to deal with the world around them by taking part in social activities, fulfilling their responsibilities, and respecting other people’s point of view. A person’s mental health can also be affected by factors that are biological or genetic; variables that a person is born with, including chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome, as well as any intellectual disabilities that are caused by exposure to alcohol in the womb or oxygen deprivation during birth.

Economic and Social Circumstances

The ability of a person to flourish and develop well is deeply affected by their social surroundings, including their access to family members, friends, and colleagues, as well as their ability to earn a living for themselves and their family. This socio-economic environment has a dramatic effect on an individual’s mental health. Lost or restricted chances to earn an income or education are extremely important elements.

Environmental Factors

The wider sociological and political environment in which one lives can also affect their mental health status. For example, factors like access to basic goods and services, exposure to specific cultural beliefs and practices and national policies can all dramatically affect one’s mental health. If these factors are negative, they can substantially increase the risk of substance abuse or suicide chances. Examples of these factors include gender conflicts, social inequality, and general discrimination.

These factors can affect one another in an ever-changing way, either working in favour of or against one’s specific mental health challenges. A person’s specific level of self-worth can be either improved or lowered depending on the amount of social or economic support they have at a household level. This, however, may be affected by the entire country’s political circumstances, sociological factors, or overall economic growth.

Mental Health Protection and Promotion

Because the range of impacts on mental health is so broad, the responses to them must be varied. These strategies may include taking care of the individual through an important stage of life, recognising any issues early, and preventing behavioural or emotional issues, especially during childhood. The development of conditions for living and working can also help individuals develop self-determination, especially if they’re part of a vulnerable population. Other ways to help include the promotion of good interactions with a variety of social groups, protection for low-income individuals, laws against discrimination, and taking care of people with mental health issues by introducing them to groups like the Road to Recovery Plymouth for guidance in cases of substance abuse. Setting this up in advance will help ensure that there is a failsafe in place to help those with mental health issues develop safely and securely.