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Saturday, November 12, 2011

WHO : 10 facts on mental health

10 facts on mental health

Fact 1
About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents are estimated to have mental disorders or problems, with similar types of disorders being reported across cultures. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.

Fact 2
Depression is characterized by sustained sadness and loss of interest along with psychological, behavioural and physical symptoms. It is ranked as the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Fact 3
On average about 800 000 people commit suicide every year, 86% of them in low- and middle-income countries. More than half of the people who kill themselves are aged between 15 and 44. The highest suicide rates are found among men in eastern European countries. Mental disorders are one of the most prominent and treatable causes of suicide.

Fact 4
War and other major disaster have a large impact on the mental health and psychosocial well-being. Rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies.

Fact 5
Mental disorders are among the risk factors for communicable and non-communicable diseases. They can also contribute to unintentional and intentional injury.

Fact 6
Stigma about mental disorders and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental health care. In South Africa, a public survey showed that most people thought mental illnesses were related to either stress or a lack of willpower rather than to medical disorders. Contrary to expectations, levels of stigma were higher in urban areas and among people with higher levels of education.

Fact 7
Human rights violations of psychiatric patients are routinely reported in most countries. These include physical restraint, seclusion and denial of basic needs and privacy. Few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders.

Fact 8
There is huge inequity in the distribution of skilled human resources for mental health across the world. Shortages of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers are among the main barriers to providing treatment and care in low- and middle-income countries. Low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.42 nurses per 100 000 people. The rate of psychiatrists in high income countries is 170 times greater and for nurses is 70 times greater.

Fact 9
In order to increase the availability of mental health services, there are five key barriers that need to be overcome: the absence of mental health from the public health agenda and the implications for funding; the current organization of mental health services; lack of integration within primary care; inadequate human resources for mental health; and lack of public mental health leadership.

Fact 10
Governments, donors and groups representing mental health workers, patients and their families need to work together to increase mental health services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The financial resources needed are relatively modest: US$ 2 per person per year in low-income countries and US$ 3-4 in lower middle-income countries.

Monday, October 24, 2011

5 Most Important Factors to Improve Child Behavior

It does not take long for children to realize that they are in charge of themselves and even though you are the parent, you can’t make them do anything they don’t want to.  This is a natural stage that starts at about two years of age and never seems to end.  No doubt, you will unquestionably come to a point where you find yourself looking for a solution to improve child behavior.  Any expert will tell you that to gain the skills needed to improve child behavior you will first have to recognize your influence as the parent.  There are five key things that must be practiced to initiate your authority and the leader.

1) Learn to listen.  From day one of life your child will be seeking your attention at all times.  While this can prove to be frustrating it is crucial that you hear them out, even when they are not making any sense. 

2) Validate their feelings.  Not to be confused with praise, validation is about recognizing your children’s thoughts as legitimate concerns.  Remember that they have not been faced with many hassles in life so while their complaints may seem petty to you, they could be the hardest thing they have had to deal with. 

3) State your opinion.  Although you may hold all the authority it is important that you offer your advice to them in the form of an opinion.  To truly improve child behavior you must show them that they have the power to make the right decisions.  By always commanding you are teaching them to follow the leader rather than their own instincts.

4) Step back.  This will be the hardest thing that ever has to be done in parenting, but it must be done to teach your child independence.  Letting your child make the wrong decision will allow them to face the consequences of misbehaving.   These consequences will stick with them through life to ensure that they think before doing it again.

5) Be their soft place to land.  Children will make many mistakes as will adults, but we all need that special someone to turn to.  You can tell them that their actions were wrong and hold their hand at the same time.  Since you have been there all their life you hold a very special bond that should always take precedence over the common mistakes of your child.