Aspirus emphasizes social factors during mental health month 2023
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One in 10 kids and teenagers have serious depression that interferes with their daily life.
The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health reports rising anxiety, sadness, and suicide rates among children and teenagers.
Aspirus Social Worker Debbie Merkel considers it a crisis.
Youth mental health is in crisis nationally. “How can we be good role models for our youth and children if we’re not doing it for ourselves?” she said.
Merkel referenced a poll that found 97% of people believe mental health is vital but just 23% prioritize it.
She advises taking time for yourself to decrease stress.
“Whether you can do that through exercise, painting, or creativity. I sing in my car because I enjoy to. Nature is another option. Merkel advised vitamin D.
Merkel advises socializing.
“Being with our friends and families and other people in communities in whatever capacity can be a huge help in overcoming mental health challenges and stress in our lives,” she added.
Aspirus also wants individuals to understand how outside forces might affect their physical and emotional wellbeing.
The CDC lists these socioeconomic determinants of health as affecting American communities:
Poverty. Poverty can limit access to food, shelter, and healthcare. Poor nutrition, chronic disease, and increased sickness can follow. Poverty also increases stress and limits education and employment, which can worsen health inequities.
Low education. Education shapes one’s future. It improves work prospects, earnings, and financial stability, which can improve health.
Unemployed or underemployed. Low-income people typically struggle to afford nutritious food and accommodation, which can harm their health. Employment permits people to afford health insurance and preventative treatment.
Delays in diagnosis and treatment due to lack of health care might harm health. Without health insurance or in underdeveloped locations with few doctors, receiving health care can be difficult.
Northcentral Wisconsin needs secure and affordable housing and mental health services.
“It takes three months to get an initial appointment with a provider, and six months or longer for a psychiatrist.
Merkel remarked, “The average American sees a doctor four times a year, but when it comes to mental healthcare, people wait until they are in crisis.”
Merkel advises establishing mental health care providers early to build a support network before you need it.