- Written by Annemi Olivier
- Published: 05 Oct 2017
What Are Mental Health Problems & What Treatment Is Required?
Mental health problems occur often as a result of life stressors, it can have a negative impact on a person’s cognitive, emotional and social abilities but may not meet the criteria for an illness. The distinction between mental health problems and mental disorders is not well defined and is made on the basis of severity and duration of symptoms.
About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Mental health problems cause a great deal of suffering to those experiencing them, as well as their families and friends. Furthermore, these problems appear to be increasing. According to the World Health Organisation, depression will be one of the biggest health problems worldwide by the year 2020.
Treatment of Mental Illness
Most mental illnesses can be effectively treated. Recognising the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and accessing effective treatment early is important. The earlier the treatment starts the better the outcome.
Episodes of mental illness can come and go during different periods in people’s lives. Some people experience only one episode of illness and fully recover. For others, it recurs throughout their lives. It is rarely possible for someone with a mental illness to make the symptoms go away just by strength of will, to suggest this is not helpful in any way.
Effective treatments can include medication, cognitive behavioural psychological therapies, psycho-social support, psychiatric disability rehabilitation, avoidance of risk factors such as harmful alcohol and other drug-use, and learning self-management skills. A visit to the GP is the best place to start.
People with a mental illness need the same understanding and support given to people with a physical illness. A mental illness is no different – it is not an illness for which anyone should be blamed.
Tina Winchester 1300 943 438 [email protected]
Information about courses that provide a greater level of knowledge, training & awareness about Mental Health can be found on our Diploma of Mental Health course page, Certificate IV in Mental Health course page and our Mental Health First Aid Training page.