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Transcript of Mental Health
Jaz Kalogerakis, Mariela Lalut-Salvatore & AnnMarie Espina
Mental Health: A Public Health Issue
Attitudes & Values
Define: Mental Health
WHO defines mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’ .
Partaking in spiritual activities e.g. mindfulness meditation can  ..
Increase mental health 
Reduce risk of depression or depressive symptoms, especially in stressed populations 
Increase recovery from depression 
Assist with coping skills 
Reduce anxiety 
Be a powerful source of comfort 
Provide meaning and purpose in hard times 
450 million people suffer from mental disorders 
1 in 5 Australians experience mental disorder
Depression, anxiety, stress, mood disorders, substance use, psychiatric disorders 
Depression and anxiety can be influenced by..
Previous difficult emotional or traumatic events 
Illicit drug use 
Emotional and psychological well being 
Previous mental health issues 
Pressure at work or home 
Medical illness 
Anxiety sufferers are likely to feel overwhelmed, panic stricken and out of control, with hearts racing and sweaty palms .
Depression is debilitating, it takes away a persons interest in life, ability to be happy and see beauty; feeling drained, unable to concentrate and hopelessness .
Beliefs about depression can be impacted by age, gender, education and cultural background 
Many believe chemical imbalances in the brain or stressful situations are the cause of depression
Different views about if or how mental illness should be treated 
Mental health literacy is increasing because of public health campaigns 
Increasing ability to detect signs and symptoms of depression
Patients with major depression turning to spiritual activity as the most beneficial in recovery 
Spiritual activity helped cope with psychological pain or depression 
"90 percent of Americans turned to their spiritual beliefs to cope with the stress of September 11th"
Individuals with depression are likely with withdrawal from family and social networks 
Harmful social circles include..
Substance abuse 
Taking on 'fake' identities to fit in 
Social capital or groups are important to mental well being and recovery e.g. school, friends, work or communities 
Reconnecting with social relationships 
Finding a social valued identity 
Women working full time with dependent children are more likely to experience depression 
Unemployment can contribute to depression, while gaining employment can have positive effects 
Depression an anxiety in the work place can result in 7.2 days of work cutback and 5.7 days of work lost per month 
Or 5 weeks of productivity loss per worker 
Low income can impact stress and depression 
Employment & Income
Literacy levels are connected to depression and anxiety 
2.7 times at higher risk of depression with low literacy 
Self efficacy and education impact depression 
Positive early education can increase mental resilience and lead to better social outcomes 
Children entering school before they are ready have higher risk of poor mental health 
Depression and anxiety can lead to..
Migraines, headaches, sickness, fatigue, sleeping problems, change in appetite, irritability, racing heart and/or tightening in the chest and osteoperosis
Geriatric depression tends to be associated with..
Vegetative syndrome 
Increased abdominal fat 
Decreased bone density 
Risk of developing Type II diabetes 
"Nothing seemed fun anymore. I was tired all the time, and I wasn't sleeping well at night. But I knew I had to keep going because I've got kids and a job. It just felt so impossible, like nothing was going to change or get better." 
Depression and anxiety have been associated with..
Substance abuse 
High risk sexual behavior 
Tired and sick 
Decreased productivity 
Avoiding enjoyable activities
Suicide or suicide attempts 
1 million suicides from depression a year 
Physical activity decreases incidence of depression and anxiety, additionally it is beneficial to..
Wellness, fitness, social relationships and quality of life 
People with depression and anxiety reported..
Repeatedly thinking about negative events or problems 
Difficulty controlling these thoughts 
Uncontrollable worrisome thoughts, repetitive negative thinking, pessimistic thinking,obsessive thoughts 
Mindfulness and meditation can be useful behaviour to combat repetitive negative thoughts and depression 
Age and gender impact attitudes
In Australia mental health problems are viewed as a illness not weakness 
Older populations view depression as a weakness not an illness
They assume their generation are very unlikely to suffer from depression 
Women are more empathetic and open minded towards people with depression or anxiety 
Those who value themselves are more likely to have better mental health
Ethnic minority groups affected by depression 
Certain gene combinations can predispose to depression and anxiety 
Additionally, environmental factors can be a trigger for depression 
Ethnicity & Genetics
Depression is more common in women compared to men 
Biological, life cycle, hormonal, and psychosocial factors 
Changing hormones can result in..
Menopause related depression
Women face many additional stresses at work and at home
Unclear why some get depression and others do not 
Men experience depression differently
More likely to turn to substance abuse or reckless behaviour 
More women attempt suicide, but more men die by suicide 
"White males age 85 and older actually have the highest suicide rate in the US"
Anxiety and depression was highest for people aged 35–44 
Young adults are also a high risk age group 
Depression in adolescence can lead to substance misuse 
Increasing episodes through adulthood 
"By 15 girls are twice as likely as boys to have had a major depressive episode" 
Anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse can co-exist with depression 
Depression and anxiety in university students prevalence is between 7%-19% 
Depression is commonly seen in aging populations 
Medical conditions can cause depressive symptoms 
Social isolation and poor social experiences 
Disruption of relationships and social networks 
Social interactions are important in recovery to reclaim power and achieve a sense of belonging 
Depression and anxiety may impact interactions with social environments 
Green space is alleviating stress associated with higher density living 
Sprawling suburbs are not healthy, it is argued that they restrict opportunities for physical activity and ready access to healthy food, as well as undermine social capital 
Urban populations reliance on private car travel and individualistic residential urban form result in: reduced interaction and feelings of disconnectedness and isolation 
Suburbs designed for cycling and walking promote social interaction 
Environment devoid of nature has a negative effect on health and quality of life 
Green space can foster social contact 
Outdoor learning activities (gardening, habitat conservation, caring for animals) is beneficial for mental health and wellbeing of adults and children 
Surburban living can lead to reduced social capital
unwanted isolation, deterioration in collective identity and weakened social support amongst neighbours 
Regularly and reliably having access the land to practice cultural and livelihood activities 
Shifts in weather, temperature, wildlife and vegetation patterns, water & food quality and quantity 
Disruptions in land-based activities and a loss of place-based solace and cultural identity 
Increased family stress, enhanced the possibility of increased drug and alcohol usage, amplified previous traumas 
‘Drought stress’- high suicide rate amongst farmers 
Social capital is broadly defined as "social networks, community cohesion, and participation" 
Poverty and low levels of education leads to mental health problems 
Stressful work conditions (exclusion and discrimination) 
A sense of community and belonging within the places where people live, work and travel is an influential determinant of mental health 
Incidental interaction with people enhances possibilities for human connection, decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation 
Without basic civil, political, cultural and socioeconomic rights it is impossible to maintain a high level of mental health 
Policies must ensure that Government funding is available for open land purchase as well as design and upkeep along with improving existing provisions 
Happiness and well-being should be at the top of the political agenda 
‘www.psyfit.nl’ a government website designed to improve your own mental health from home
Mental: increase sense of worth and belonging
Physical: decrease risk of geriatric physical outcomes from depression
Social: increase social capital and interaction with others to create reliable relationships
Increasing social capital in efforts to decrease risk of depression and anxiety
Partaking in the activities will unknowingly increase all aspects of health
New Public Health: Social Capital and Health
The bloated sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to 'keep up with the Joneses' 
Can effect individuals, groups and whole populations 
Impacts on Mental Health
High rates of psychological problems 
Guilt, anxiety, depression 
New Public Health:Participation as a means
Mental: unplanned social interaction
Physical: being outside and active, increasing vitamin D and nutrition
Social: meeting new people and interacting with community (including community professionals e.g. farmers)
Spiritual: connecting with nature, giving back to the community and a chance to unwind
Environment built: new infrastructure and attraction
Environment physical: allowing community to interact with nature
Cultural: grow international produce and alternative medical professionals
Political: USC introduction of new policies and involving local council
Partaking in the activities will unknowingly increase all aspects of health
Mental: skills to cope with postnatal depression
Physical: strategies for looking after themselves
Social: support network with awareness
Spiritual: 'time out' opportunities
Political: policy for new health professionals
Creating healthy mothers will create healthy generations
3 Way Intervention
New Public Health: The Role of Professionals
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