Day 594

Mental ill health is the largest cause of disability in the UK.
(WHO, 2008)
The economic cost of mental illness in England has been estimated at 105.2 billion pounds/year.
(Centre for Mental Health, 2010)
Amongst teenagers the rates of depression and anxiety are up by 70% over the last 25 years.
(Mental Health Foundation, 2005)
In a survey conducted by UNICEF in 2007, UK ranked at the bottom in children’s well being as compared to North America and 18 European countries.

Why?
Is the incidence of poor mental health on the rise or is it being reported/ recorded more often?
When I think of the environmental changes over my lifetime so far, here are a few things that are obvious:

  1. As a child I didn’t know many people who lived alone.
  2. There were no 24 hour TV channels.
  3. Many mothers stayed at home and spent time with their kids.
  4. The pollution levels in the air and water were much lower.
  5. Children played outdoors a lot more. 
  6. The society was not dominated by fear of terrorism, financial problems, job losses and sexual abuse.
  7. Bombings and beheadings were not a common sight on TV.
  8. The contrasting extremes of wealth were not so starkly visible.
  9. Not many people moved away from their families – from villages to cities or across continents.
  10. Divorce rate was much lower, almost nil in India.
  11. Most kids had at least one sibling, if not two.
  12. There were some role models.
  13. People had time.
  14. There was no social media / information overload.
  15. No one country dominated most international affairs.
  16. Capitalism was not as huge a beast as it is now.

Why this rise in suffering?
All of the above?
None of the above?
Some of the above?
Who knows?

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