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(PDF) Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health

Added on - 31 May 2021

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MENTAL HEALTH FOR COMMUNITIES21.Positive mental healthWHO defines positive mental health as “a stable state of well-being in which anindividual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can workproductively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” WHOhowever adds that, this does not mean there is complete lack of disease or ailment in theindividual.There are over 800 studies that were conducted and reveal thatreligious involvementis linked to positive mental health. These studies found that high involvement to religionincreases psychological wellbeing i.e. happiness, positive effects, life satisfaction, and also highself-esteem (Vaillant, 2012). Religious involvement has also been linked to low depression, useof alcohol and/ or drug abuse and reduced feelings of committing suicide and such relatedbehaviors(Lamers 2012). The disabled, elderly and those with the medical illness have beenfound to benefit more in religious involvement. Due to the positivity effect of religiousinvolvement, several medical schools have incorporated spirituality into their curriculum. Forinstance, in the US, there are 126 accredited medical institutions out of which 84 haveincorporated spirituality courses in medicine to help with the knowledge of the role of spiritualityin managing mental disorders(Lamers 2012).2.Examine the relevant influences. Including environment, culture, support systems andadaptive ability within Samira’s life?A few factors related to people suffering from mental illness leading to stigmatizationand loneliness may include demographic factors (age, cultural background, status,and gender),socio-economic and cultural factors. A number of environmental factors such as relationshipfallout, falling victim of a crime, and sexual abuse are associated with the production ofpsychological distress(Moreira et al., 2015). In Samira’s case there seem to have theseexperiences. The loss of her relationship with her husband through an accident that leads to the
MENTAL HEALTH FOR COMMUNITIES3death of her husband maybe related to the current mental distress she is experiencing. While inSyria where wars are constantly experienced, Samira and her family may have experiencedvictimization in crime or even sexual abuse(Herrman&Jané-Llopis 2012). Experts saythat suchexperiences could be responsible for triggering more key reactionsincluding feelings of dangerand/ or loss. These reactions are responsible for pushing an individual to certain mentalconditions.Ronald Kessler, Health Care Policy professor of Harvard School of Medicine state that,“Feelings of pure loss might lead to depressivedisorders, while feelings of pure danger mightlead to anxiety disorders.” Samira has pure feelings of loss of her husband who died on accidentleaving her with three children. She fees grieved, lonely, and has more worriesaboutthelikelihood of danger in Sydney(Reeves, Parker &Konkle-Parker 2016). He continues to say that,“Feelings of loss and danger might lead to both (depressive disorders and anxiety disorders)simultaneously.” The worse of all, stressors of psychosocial and physiological either singly orcombined can interact with the vulnerability of genes hence leading to alteration of brainchemistry which in turn affect the individual brain normal functioning(Herrman&Jané-Llopis2012).There have however been difficulties facing scientists in their efforts to linking mentalillness with primary causes. In some part reasons being that these diseases are so vague becausewhen compared to heart disease or cancer, which is clear when determining their end-point,mental illnesses have different behaviors in relation to each individual. Mental illness is definedby behaviors, feelings,and thoughts. Ezra Sussera psychiatrist atthe University of Colombiastatesthat there are no biological measures where a diagnosis can be rested.The primary function of a brain is to help an organism to adapt to a new environment.The brain helps to achieve this by helping the individual to learn a new environment, by
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