5 Greatest Challenges in Dealing with Mental Health Issues

, 5 Greatest Challenges in Dealing with Mental Health Issues

Dealing with mental health issues can feel like an overwhelming problem. The grind of daily life coupled with societal pressure exacerbates this agitation, creating a cycle that feels endless and inescapable.

But there’s good news. These seemingly insurmountable issues can be addressed. In this blog, we delve into the heart of mental health issues, dissecting the challenges faced in Singapore, revealing their impact, and most importantly, providing effective, practical solutions. This guide aims to give you the tools to better understand your situation and take the first step on the path towards healing.

1. Stigma

need to address mental health stigma

Mental health issues and disorders are still stigmatised in many societies, making it difficult for people to seek help and support. This stigma can create feelings of shame and guilt, and can prevent people from seeking professional help or even talking to friends and family about their struggles, as they become afraid of being judged or rejected.

It is important that we work together to address mental health stigma, talking more openly and encouraging more understanding. Together, we can create a world where seeking help for mental health is no longer a taboo, but rather a source of strength, compassion and support.

Read more: Mental Health Stigma: It’s Time to Break the Silence

2. Access to Resources

, 5 Greatest Challenges in Dealing with Mental Health Issues

Many people do not have access to the resources they need to manage their mental health, such as therapy, medication, or support groups. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including the unavailability of such resources in their area. Further, given the long-term nature of mental health treatment, some people may have difficulties affording it on an ongoing basis. This is exacerbated by the fact that such treatments are usually not covered by insurance.

In Singapore, the treatment of certain mental health disorders is Medisave claimable under the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP). Those disorders include Schizophrenia, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Anxiety (such as General Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). Unfortunately, some illnesses like eating disorders are not covered under this programme. Find out more about the programme here.

For insurance coverage, you can check with your insurance agent to find out whether they offer coverage for mental health services in Singapore. For more information, check out our Instagram Guide to Mental Health Insurance.

3. Inertia

inertia for people with mental health problems

Some people may delay seeking treatment for their mental health issues due to inertia (also known as the treatment gap). Inertia is the tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. Inertia can arise as a result of various factors, some of which have been outlined above. These include being afraid of the stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment, being unaware of the resources available to them or being overwhelmed by the number of treatment options that they can select from.

According to the 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS), it can even take more than a decade for some to seek treatment.

If you would like to move away from this inertia and start treatment, art psychotherapy may be the one for you. It is a non-verbal, non-intimidating way to begin your mental health journey. Through the creative process of artmaking, you will find a safe space to express your thoughts and feelings.

Watch on YouTube: What to Expect During Your First Art Therapy Session

4. Lack of Knowledge

understand mental disorders and mental health conditions

Many people are unaware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, and may not recognise when they or someone else is struggling. This lack of knowledge can make it difficult to seek help and support. The lack of knowledge also extends to what certain mental health issues entail, leading to name-calling (e.g. “that person is crazy”), discrimination and stigmatisation.

Further, though there are many mental health care options, there is insufficient information on how an individual should select an appropriate one. For example, an individual may not know the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist and a psychotherapist and whom he or she should see. This uncertainty and confusion can result in an overwhelming experience that causes them to delay seeking treatment. For assistance with this, you may check out our prior article on “How Do I Choose the Right Therapist?

5. Unhelpful Coping Mechanisms

coping mechanisms because of mental illness and severe mental disorders

People may resort to unhelpful coping mechanisms to deal with their mental health issues, such as substance abuse, self-harm, or avoidance. This can happen due to some of the issues outlined above, including the stigma surrounding mental health and a lack of resources. These coping mechanisms can be both physically and mentally damaging in the long term and can make it difficult to recover from mental health issues.

People should thus look for healthy ways to cope with their mental health issues, such as engaging the services of a mental health professional or doing activities like creating art, exercising, journalling, or engaging in creative pursuits.

Read more: How Art Can Be Therapeutic For You

Get Help For Your Mental Health

mental health services for mental health and severe mental illness

Dealing with mental health issues can be challenging, but with the right resources, support, and education, it is possible.

As an individual, you can start by educating yourself about these issues and providing a non-judgmental listening ear to friends and families struggling with such issues. You can also collaborate with other like-minded persons to advocate for greater access to mental health resources.

Finally, learn to seek help from mental health professionals. At Solace, our evidence-based art psychotherapy has helped numerous people through difficult times in their lives.

Together, step by step, we can help create a healthier future for all.