Mental health is defined in many ways, and the definition is not limited to mental illness. Mental health is a psychological and social phenomenon, and it’s not just a health problem. Medical treatment is defined as a social practice. There is a deep connection between mental health and social integration. If someone develops mental health problems, there is a high probability that the said person will be subjected to social stigma. Social stigma results when you feel unwanted or sidelined by society. This is very common in most communities that live with people having mental health problems. The mental health issue is explained clearly here in this article.
This medical approach views mental health problems as biological diseases of the brain. It suggests that mental health problems are caused primarily by genes. Although genes have been linked to the development of trauma, the foundations of this research are very shaky. So, is mental health a social issue? Yes, there are research findings that have shown that the environment and past experiences can impact our mental health significantly. A good example, most street children experience mental health problems because of their past experiences, and maybe poverty.
Mental health is not a disease
If we view mental health as a disease, then we will be encouraging treatment rather than prevention. This will further increase the social stigma in society. Can a pill cure homelessness in street children? No, these street children need support and frameworks that will give them a second chance in life. They need to recover. While psychiatric medications are sometimes useful in mental health treatment, it doesn’t work for everyone. Factors like poverty and racism have also been linked to the development of mental health problems.
Mental health should be treated as a social issue, and not as a medical issue. We need to identify the connection between mental health issues and social, cultural and economic factors. The social environment plays a vital role in shaping our mental health. We need to broaden our understanding of mental health recovery.