Development, competence and literacy in mental health

Wednesday, August 9, 2023 – 00:00

Before the covid pandemic, the numbers for mental disorders were already alarming

The new Global Citizen profile must have the competence to acquire knowledge of mental health literacy. WHO estimates (2022) that 25% of the world’s population will have some kind of mental health problem throughout their lives. This means that we must provide citizens with the opportunity to acquire cognitive social skills related, among other things, to attention, understanding, memorization, speed of information processing.

Health literacy is a relatively new term that emerged in the 1970s. It refers to the extent to which people can receive, process and understand basic health information to improve their quality of life. After the pandemic, its study is extremely necessary so that citizens learn to identify in time what are the main symptoms of mental disorders.

In the middle of the last century, WHO defined health as; “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 38.2% of the European population has some kind of mental health problem, which is 164.8 million people. In the world, one in four people have or will have mental health problems throughout their lives.

Some international organizations predict that mental health problems will become the leading cause of disability by 2030. In countries with the greatest poverty and the greatest inequality, mental health consequences already existed.

Mental disorders account for 12.5% ​​of all health problems, higher than diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, which are considered among those that cause the highest mortality. 22% of diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean are related to mental and neurological disorders.

18 years ago, 450 million people worldwide experienced a mental health problem that made their lives significantly more difficult (Copenhagen: WHO, 2005), in 2019 this picture has increased to 970 million people with some type of mental disorder ( WHO, 2019).

Adolescence is key and needs to be given more attention as studies show that about 50% of mental health problems in adults begin before the age of 14, and 75% before the age of 18. 14% of adolescents worldwide also suffer from some type of mental disorder. Interventions in public health coverage pose challenges, as 35% and 50% of people with mental health problems receive no treatment or are inadequate internationally, according to the WHO.

It is important to note that mental disorders can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Among the most common are depression and anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessive-compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorders, affective disorders such as bipolar disorder. Other common psychiatric disorders are eating behavior, anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating. There are also personality disorders, psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Before the pandemic, about 400 million people worldwide were living with depression, a public mental health problem that increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015. Nearly 800,000 people commit suicide every year, the second leading cause of death among young people. aged 15 to 29, an increase of 25% to 30% is estimated in 2021. European and American literature includes more than 400 types of mental disorders.

To take care of your mental health, you need to regulate your eating habits by following a balanced diet. Take care of yourself, pay attention to personal hygiene. Lifestyle, be calm, enjoy life, avoid stress, avoid sedentary lifestyle. Toxic consumption, avoid toxic substances, both legal and illegal, to prevent mental health problems. The next pandemic that has begun and that we are facing is mental health disorders and we are not ready, only CSS (2021) visited in one year, plus 140,000 consultations in psychology and psychiatry.


50% of mental health problems in adults begin before the age of 14.

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