Oftentimes mental health does not receive the same attention as physical heath. Patients regularly visit physicians for wellness checks such as annual physicals, but mental health screenings tend to be overlooked.
According to British research from the University of Cambridge, regular mental health evaluations are just as important as tending to one’s bodily aches and pains. According to a report presented by PsychCentral, mental health disorders are the primary reason for disability in the U.S., UK, and Canada. Every year a quarter of the adult population is diagnosed with some type of mental health issue, with depression and anxiety among the top concerns.
Barbara Sahakian, well-known UK neuroscientist and professor, presented study findings which uncovered that currently only two in five patients with dementia are even aware they have the disease. Early detection has also been shown to significantly save on healthcare expense. For instance, patients with Alzheimer’s disease who received early treatment and intervention reduced healthcare costs by an average of $12,000.
Devoting attention to one’s emotional health early on is important for the development of healthy coping mechanisms needed later in life. Another ignored fact is that mental health conditions can impact physical health and vice versa. Exercise, for instance, has lifelong benefits that boost physical as well as psychological wellbeing; studies even show that exercise can improve brain functioning.
Frequent mental health screenings can play a significant role in prevention and treatment. People who put off seeking help increase the chance of their disorder being harder to treat. The results of the study emphasize the importance of making mental health a focus of public health.
Family Guidance Center has a team of mental health professionals who can help with assessment, diagnosis and treatment strategies for conditions affecting mental health. With proper intervention, most mental health conditions are highly manageable. In addition to annual check-ups, regular mental health screenings offer the best prognosis for a long and healthy life.