PIONEERING ENHANCEMENT IN PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY AND COMMUNICATION

Raja Sadhu

Abstract


Mental illness is a major issue in global public health, contributing to substantial economic and emotional community burden. For example, it has been estimated that up to 45% of the Australian population will experience mental illness at some point during their lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009). Similar data from United States shows, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million experiences mental illness in a given year and approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. However, not all individuals who experience symptoms of mental illness receive the same level of care or treatment. This is partly attributable to the general public’s beliefs and attitudes surrounding mental illness, often referred to as their mental health literacy. Mental health issues usually start around late childhood and early teen years, so identifying the issues around this time can make a significant impact on the health of the individual, as well as societal effects. It is in this regard that the pioneering work of Dr. Gaurav Jain of Berkshire Medical Center is ushering in great success in creating awareness among the public. Dr. Jain has utilized the internet and the digital tools including smartphones to disseminate health information. For example, “Aid the Mind” (aidthemind.com) is intelligently designed to cut-off the stigma, which is so often associated with mental healthcare and engage the general population in identification of these issues, reaching out to mental health providers and making a difference.


Keywords


ENHANCEMENT, contributing, treatment

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References


Dzara K, Dukett J, Shen F, Kraleti S, Ramanujam A, Jain G. Psychology Students’ Views Toward Psychiatrists and Psychologists. The Journal of The Arkansas Medical Society 2017; 114 (6):128-130.

Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml

Any Disorder Among Children. (n.d.) Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-disorder-among-children.shtml


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