Three people have a happy conversation over coffee.

The Importance of Mental Health Education in Today’s World

Mental health education helps individuals and communities better understand issues that directly and indirectly affect them.

The stigma related to mental health issues can be debilitating That’s true whether someone faces a mental health challenge themselves or knows someone who does.

A lack of education on mental health can discourage people from seeking treatment. It can also make mental health issues seem dangerous, mysterious, or uncomfortable.

Mental health education helps to broaden perspectives and support a more empathetic response. Learning about mental health issues makes it easier to understand their causes and symptoms, and create a more open and welcoming environment for everyone.

Wondering how to educate yourself or others about mental health? Keep reading to learn more about starting the conversation and finding effective resources for mental health education.

Mental Health Education: The Basics

Mental health can be complex and highly technical on the clinical level. That said, there are some important facts that just about everyone can understand about mental health on a practical level.

If you want to educate others on mental health or are looking for more information yourself, start here: 

  • Mental health is just as real, valid, and important as physical health. In fact, mental health can and does impact physical health.
  • People who experience mental health issues are not defined only by their struggles. 
  • A mental health issue can range from very minor to severely debilitating, or fall between those two extremes.
  • The vast majority of mental health issues can be treated and managed.
  • Mental health can change over time. Stress, financial insecurity, socioeconomic status, and varying responsibilities can lead to new issues with mental health. 

Why is it Important to Take a Compassionate and Educated Approach to Mental Health?

Mental health issues are common and Mental Health Research Canada reports one out of every ten Canadians accessed mental health services in 2022. Another 5% believed they should use these services, but didn’t seek treatment.

One out of every three Canadians in the workforce experienced burnout in 2022. That percentage is significantly higher in certain fields, like nursing.

Data shared by the Governement of Canada says, one in every three Canadians will be affected by a mental illness in their lifetime. Many Canadian’s may not seek treatment due to the stigma against mental health issues. Reducing the stigma through education builds a more welcoming and encouraging environment and makes it easier for individuals to seek treatment, and be supported by friends and family.

The Crucial Importance of Student Mental Health

When young people grow up in an environment that recognizes the value of mental health services, they don’t face as many barriers to seeking treatment. Addressing mental health concerns early on can help young people reduce the impact of those issues across their lives.

In this context (and in many others), mental health education is important for everyone. That includes educators, coaches, parents, and the students themselves. With everyone on the same page, the mental health stigma can be greatly reduced.

The Economic Benefits of Mental Health Education

Encouraging mental health education makes sense from a compassionate perspective. Everyone deserves treatment and support for any health issue, whether physical or mental.

It might surprise you to hear that mental health education and understanding also have economic benefits. The World Health Organization reports that the global economy loses $1.3 trillion in productivity due to people experiencing depression and anxiety.

On an individual level, a more supportive environment can help people address their mental health issues. This can lead to more stability in their careers and, ultimately, less financial stress. 

As a whole, reducing stigma and increasing ease of access to mental health services supports a healthier economy. Encouraging treatment can reduce time lost to unmanaged mental health conditions which can keep the economy moving along more efficiently.

Finding Effective Mental Health Treatment

One of the most common barriers to receiving mental health care is access to providers. It’s unfortunately common for counsellors and therapists to have full schedules and not accept new patients. Scheduling appointments and coordinating travel to and from a provider’s office can be especially difficult.

Wellin5 connects you with a qualified counsellor online. That means attending sessions in the comfort of your own home, putting the focus on treatment instead of logistics.

Feeling like you need support? A Wellin5 counsellor is available.