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Mental Health Month 2013: Social Detriments That Impact Wellness [Infographic]
May is Mental Health Month and an opportunity to highlight, educate and raise awareness about mental health issues. “Pathways to Wellness,” this year’s Mental Health Month theme, calls attention to ways people can work toward achieving an overall sense of well-being, including both mental health and physical health. Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being.
Unfortunately, social detriments keep many people from receiving proper physical and mental health care, thus preventing them from achieving overall wellness. In the mini infographics below, we begin by identifying the pathways to wellness, then detail some of the greatest social detriments that prevent people from pursuing those paths.
We often forget that mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. Just as we check our blood pressure and schedule cancer screenings, it’s a good idea to periodically take steps to build and maintain our emotional well-being.
Homeless individuals often are not able to get access to the services and resources they need in order to attain wellness. Issues related to diet, shelter, sleep, safety and a lack of access to mental and primary health care services all negatively impact the homeless population’s wellness.
Common health issues among those living in poverty are stress, obesity, asthma, poor nutrition, and little access to mental and primary health care services.
Children living in poverty have a number of increased health risks that are not as common in children from higher-income households. Science Daily reports that among those health risks are a higher infant mortality rate, childhood obesity, poor nutrition, asthma and diabetes.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than heterosexuals, which can lead to higher levels of drug use and suicidal behaviors. These higher rates are fueled by discrimination, sexual prejudice and anti-LGBT violence, resulting in major mental health stressors.
Bullying, physical abuse and attacks are a major concern for the LGBT youth. This type of abuse doesn’t just happen in schools and on the streets, it can also happen in the home. The Center for American Progress tells us that a family’s acceptance or rejection of an LGBT member is linked to that person’s long-term physical and mental health.
The Wall Street Journal reports that many Hispanics are uninsured due to prohibitive costs and employment at small businesses that can’t afford to offer insurance to their employees.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leading causes of infant mortality rates among these populations are congenital malformations, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight and unintentional injuries.
Overall wellness plays a large role in education and a child’s ability to perform well in school. Without ensuring our children’s physical and mental well-being, we can’t ensure their future success.
According to U.S. News & World Report, incarcerated individuals have a much higher rate of serious and chronic illness in comparison to the general population. Access to health care within the prison system is very difficult, and mental health issues are largely ignored, even though research indicates that mental health issues are often linked to higher arrest rates and incarceration.
African Americans are less likely to seek treatment for their mental disorders compared to whites. Among the reasons are economics and stigma.
For more information on mental health take a look at our Facing Mental Illness Infographic.