Is mental health as important as physical health? Most people have specific views

Is mental health as important as physical health?  Most people have specific views

The results of the latest survey show what Europeans think about mental health, and what they think is whether it is as important as physical health. The respondents also indicated the factors that most influence the good condition of our psyche.

The World Mental Health Day, which took place around the world on October 10, is behind us. Even though it only comes once a year, you should take care of your mental health every day. It’s also important to talk about it. What do Europeans think about this? Do they think mental health is as important as the physical condition of our body? The results of the recently conducted Eurobarometer survey were published by the European Commission on Monday (October 9, 2023). It was conducted on June 14–21, 2023. A total of 26,501 people aged 15 or over from 27 countries took part in it.

Is mental health as important as physical health?

The survey results showed that as many as 89 percent of Europeans surveyed believe that mental health is as important as physical health. This means that 9 out of 10 respondents are convinced of the importance of mental health and, consequently, how important its promotion is (it should be comparable to the promotion of physical health).

Respondents also answered the question of how European countries can contribute to improving the health of their citizens. It turns out that most people, as many as 45 percent, consider “improving the overall quality of life” as the most important factor. According to the respondents, the following is also very important:

  • improving access to diagnosis, treatment and care for patients suffering from mental disorders (37 percent of people think so),

  • supporting the mental health of the most vulnerable people (35 percent of people think so).

Do people with mental health problems receive adequate help?

Less than half of people surveyed believe that people who struggle with mental health problems have the same access to appropriate care as people who suffer from other illnesses. How does this translate into reality?

46 percent of Europeans taking part in the survey admitted that they had experienced emotional or psychosocial problems such as anxiety or depression. It turned out that more than half of them, as many as 54 percent, did not receive help from a specialist in this situation

The deterioration of the mental health of Europeans

Recent events have certainly had a significant impact on the mental health of Europeans, including Poles: the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine, as well as other social and economic factors.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in six people in Europe suffered from mental health problems. Now the situation has worsened, and recent events have had some impact on the condition of Europeans (44 percent of respondents say so). 18 percent of people believe that they have left a big mark on people’s psyche.

What influences good mental health?

According to the majority of people participating in the study, the most important factors influencing good mental health are living conditions and then financial security. Also important:

  • contact with nature and spending time in green areas,

  • sleep habits,

  • physical activity,

  • social contacts.

The vast majority of people also believe that the use of social media has a negative impact on mental health.

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