By Oskari Pentikainen, Student on Placement at The Eaves
10 October 2021 is recognised as World Mental Health Day. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.
Mental Health in an Unequal World
This year’s World Mental Health Day theme is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.
Mental health is commonly discussed through individual factors, and not so much in the context of social inequalities. Research shows, however, that some groups have evidently far poorer mental health than others, often reflecting social inequality and disadvantage.*
The link between poverty and mental health, for example, has been recognised for many years and is well evidenced. Other factors, such as social circumstances, having a health condition, belonging to a disadvantaged group (for example, Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic communities; and LGBTQ), or certain experiences like discrimination and prejudice are also commonly recognised risk factors and associated with poor mental health.**
According to recent research by MIND, 58% of people receiving benefits said their mental health was poor; black people are 4 times more likely to be sectioned under Mental Health Act, and while 1 in 6 young people suffered from mental health problems in 2020 (up from 1 in 10 in 2017).***
What is happening on the 10th of October?
On 10 October, there are a number of ways to get involved:
- Rethink Mental Illness will share stories, videos and facts about inequalities and people severely affected by mental illness face all day on social media
- Muslim Council of Britain will organise an online conference on “Muslim Mental Health in an Unequal World”
- You can click here to start your own conversation about mental health inequality with these resources on the Mind website
What can you do when a loved one is experiencing mental health problems?
- Listen, be patient, try not to make assumptions, and keep social contact
- Explore ways to offer practical support, for example with shopping, childcare, or find information about different types of support available
- If they don’t want support be patient and recognise the limits of what you can do****
In case of emergency, including if your friend or relative is not safe alone, stay with them and call 999 for an ambulance if you can. If safe, you could also help them get to an A&E department.
How can The Eaves help?
At The Eaves we believe that psychological services should be available to all. This is why we offer a low-cost service at our Guildford practice to offer long or short-term therapy for adults on a limited income.
Our professionals see individuals of all ages, families, couples and young people 12 hours a day, Monday to Saturday between 9am and 9pm. Please call 01483 917000 to speak to a member of the referrals team. You can also send us an enquiry via our website. Click here to find out more.
**Mental Health Foundation  “Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems – How everyone can flourish equally?” available at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/MHF-tackling-inequalities-report_WEB.pdf