Mental Health Around the World
“Each year over 800,000 people die from suicide, that’s one death every 40 seconds.”
It’s no surprise that mental health is at crisis point right now. Technology has moved cultures into the unknown and in its wake created a whole host of issues that never existed before. And education too has meant that people are more informed than ever before. They know if something is off and they can access unlimited information online in a bid to start moving in the right direction. But there’s not denying the fact that we are in the midst of an epidemic. 1 in 4 people experience severe mental health issues at some stage in their life. Each year over 800,000 people die from suicide, that’s one death every 40 seconds and this is expected to double by 2020. Here’s what some of the most mental health conscious nations are doing.
Luxembourg is just good at things. It has the top rated healthcare system in the world and an average life expectancy of 82 years. When it comes to mental health it focuses on the “Positive Education” model - this focuses on “bridging the gap between the skills of wellbeing and the skills of achievement.” Unlikely traditional teaching method that reward conformity, teenagers in Luxembourg are thought to find their own unique strengths - destigmatizing mental health along the way and creating a happier and more productive society.
Like Luxembourg, Norway is great at most things too. It’s one of the leaders in mental health care services giving mentally ill people access to an abundance of inpatient and outpatient resources, including psychiatric casualty clinics — which basically are emergency rooms for people with mental health issues. On top of this is 2017 it announced a “medication free treatment” initiative that gives people with mental illness access to psychiatric wards in the following instances - where they don’t want to take medication or where they want to ween off meds offering much more choice to people with mental illness.
Germany's mental healthcare system is shown to be of one the leading countries in terms of mental health treatment. Germany has championed community based healthcare since the seventies and offers financial support for patients as well as access to services. In addition to this people living with mental illness can seek aid in the form of help finding or staying in work and outreach programs. To overcome the lack of mental health services for refugees, Germany implemented a program that trains refugees to become counselors, who in turn teach therapeutic classes and coping skills to newly-arrived refugees. Now that’s a country with strong mental health game.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, seeking counseling and visiting a psychologist is pretty common, with little taboo. Though mental illness is more destigmatized in Argentina, and it has the highest amount amount of psychologists per capita in the world, the country has had its fair share of human rights violations against mentally ill people. It has been reported that some Argentine institutions abused patients, forced them to live in unsanitary or unsafe conditions, and didn’t provide proper mental health care.