Coffee Space


Listen:

Mental Health

Preview Image

Preview Image

Disclaimer: Not an expert. If you are experiencing mental health problems, reach out to professionals and people around you.

I've had a few friends in the last few months reach out to me, mostly ones I've made in various places on the internet, telling me they are depressed, some suicidal. I've lost family and friends over the years to this, it's something I take quite seriously. Some examples that reached the local newspapers: [1] [2]. Sadly, not all their deaths are reported on (I plan to write about one of the cases so that they are not forgotten).

Mental health awareness has some dedicated day/week/month, but really this is a problem that goes on all year round, like any real societal issue.

Commonalities

These are some things I've observed, but of course I'm not an expert by any measure in this subject:

There are maybe others, but these ones stick out in my mind at the time of writing.

Advice

My general non-expert advice is basically the opposite:

Some of this we could all benefit from in general!

Forwards

It's really not clear how to solve the mental health crisis, but it is certainly a crisis. I don't understand why it doesn't get more visibility, is it because it's not politically contentious? Is it because people don't take it seriously? Is it because it doesn't affect enough people? From a greater societal perspective, spending resource on raising these people to adulthood, only to have them commit suicide is not beneficial.

I'm yet to hear of the Left and Liberal perspectives, but I've heard a compelling Conservative argument on this. Essentially it was argued that young people are having children and starting families later (if at all), an act that gives meaning and responsibilities to people whom otherwise live with their parents and work at jobs saving money for a future that is yet to be realised. It would certainly overlap with the feeling of 'hopelessness' that has been told to me.

I feel that one thing the Conservatives do get right is their emphasis on the importance of strong family structures - we know for example that children raised by two parents rather than one (any gender) are more likely to be successful. A friend once said: "nothing motivates you more to study than having a family depending on you".