Mental health is just like physical health: we all have it and we need to take care of it.
Good mental health means being able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you’re frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become challenging to deal with, or worse, even impossible. Undoubtedly, this can feel just as bad as a physical illness – or even worse.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people will be affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental health problems among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
Indeed, there is an increasing number of people who are struggling with mental health issues – regardless of age. More recently, it has been reported that a fifth of teenagers in the UK self-harm due to depression.
Furthermore, according to the report by Young Minds, between 2001 and 2011 inpatient admissions for young people who self-harm increased by 68%, while in another survey 46% of girls aged 11 to 21 said they have needed help with mental health issues.
But is mental illness really on the rise? Some say it is, while other claims it just seems that way. But whether it is increasing or not, we need to address this issue.
Treatments are of course available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder refuse to seek help from a mental health professional. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders, says the WHO.
While there are many ways to address mental health issues, one study suggests that teens could benefit from blogging.
Blogs (whether textual or video blogs) can be a powerful way to alter attitudes. In particular, mental health stories spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.
Also, research has shown that writing a personal diary and other forms of expressive writing are a great way to release emotional distress and just feel better. And because most teenagers are online anyway, blogging is an excellent platform for them because it enables free expression and easy communication with others.
The psychological impact that blogs can have on mental health is undeniable. Hence, there is now an emerging field that focuses on this: blog psychology.
Dennis Relojo, the world’s first blog psychologist, explains: ‘ ‘There is definitely a huge potential to this emerging subfield towards contributing to the discipline of psychology. Indeed, with the continued popularity of blogs, it is crucial that a specialized discipline is developed to encompass all forms of internet-mediated communication, specifically in blogs.’He went on to add: ‘Potential theories of blog psychology may include the readers’ perception, cognition, and humanistic components in regards to their experience in consuming blogs.With the benefits that you can derive from a blog, you might want to start your own. Here are some tips to help you launch your own mental health blog:
- Set short-term and long-term blogging goals – What is it you are trying to achieve with your blog? Is it a platform for you to share your mental health stories or would you like to use it to dissemination news and information?
- Get a domain name – This will be the name of your blog. You can be as creative as you want in choosing a name for your blog.
- Choose a platform – There are many blogging platforms available: Wix, Blogger, or Tumblr. However, the most popular one is WordPress.
- Have a content plant – You have to decide how often do you want to blog. Most bloggers publish new content every week.
Conversations about mental health play a vital role in helping people feel better about themselves. Blogging gives people a chance to create these conversations. It allows people to feel more connected to the world outside their home through the internet.
Although the conversations about mental health may still cause discomfort in some individuals, more and more people are realizing the importance of talking and understanding mental illnesses. Individuals who suffer from mental disorders are no longer met with ‘get over it’ or ‘it’s all in your head’.
Owing to the opportunity to read and learn about mental health, people are more compassionate, caring and understanding towards individuals with mental illnesses. Through blogging, the internet has brought one of the most important issues to light, completely changing the attitudes towards mental health.