Prioritizing Your Mental Health
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Eating right and getting more exercise is all a part of keeping our bodies healthy, but what about our mental health? Because of tragedies like the mass shooting in Newtown, that question has led researchers to challenge society to prioritize mental health like we do our physical health.
One in every four adults will suffer from a mental disorder in any year. Mental disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States; anxiety and depression makes up a significant percent.
“As a society, we take our mental health for granted, but just like our bodies, it is important to keep our brains fit,” Professor Barbara Sahakian was quoted as saying.
Mental and physical health are correlated. Exercise is good for mood, cognition, and physical health. Improving brain health can be done throughout one’s life. Learning and exercise are both ways to increase neurogenesis in the brain.
"Just as joggers check their pulse rate, we should encourage individuals to regularly keep an eye on the state of their mental health; often people wait too long to seek help, making their condition more difficult to treat. We need to educate the public about what to look for and make them aware of the importance of early detection and intervention," Sahakian said.
Professor Sahakian also wants the use of innovation and technology to improve our health.
“Innovation which promotes enjoyable cognitive training for example through the use of games on iPads and mobile phone apps will be of great benefit to healthy people and those with mental health problems alike. Technology for early detection of problems in brain health and for monitoring mental health problems is essential. This will promote early detection and early effective treatment, as well as public health planning. Hopefully, this conceptual shift in the way society views brain health will ultimately lead to the prevention of common mental health problems,” Sahakian explained.
SOURCE: Presentation by Professor Barbara Sahakian: A Vision for Excelling in Mental Health and Well-Being, February 2013