As a “hospitalist, as a scientist who describes what he sees, what the people in the office say and what the data says”, Confirms that deepening inequalities are having an impact on health.
How is the mental health of the society?Slightly worse than before the pandemic but not as bad as they say. Man’s resistance is impressive. In terms of mental health, we are able to overcome adversity and come out stronger; 85% continue with their resources even in the face of events such as war or the death of a child. If the pandemic has achieved anything good, it is making visible a subject that was previously invisible, taboo; Now society is demanding better mental health. Slowly, but we are making progress.
We are at the beginning of the year and it is hard to be optimistic. After the pandemic, the crisis. Will 2023 be the year in which we get rid of the burden that we carry in our mind and in our social relationships?
What has actually happened is that the pandemic has exposed what was hidden, a very precarious situation in many areas – not only in the health sector -; We’ve been pulling this off since at least the 2008 crisis, until it became clear in 2012, that the economic crisis that had not been fully resolved was linked to a new crisis that, in addition to health and social, It also becomes economical. The result is that existing inequalities have widened, uncertainty has deepened and it has led certain segments of the population to cases of desperation and despair, at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
Who are the weakest?Children and adolescents, say evidence and mental health emergency data, who have collapsed. There is an 80% increase in self-harm compared to normal; It is necessary to analyze whether this is related to the effect of social networks and imprisonment, taking into account that they affect more the most disadvantaged sections of society. Without forgetting the context, a vast majority of youth have lost hope from the model in which we have educated them: if you study and work hard, things will be good. On the other hand, there is an aging population, we live longer and longer and require care and support that is not always available. and patients with severe mental disorders who do not have access to custom day hospitals to receive adequate treatment. This is one of the paradoxes of our model: we invest little and recycle a lot. And although prevention is very cheap and antidote very expensive, policies are not made for more than four years.
Is that position going to be deep or will we go back?If this was the trend of a decade, not just a product of the pandemic, it doesn’t get corrected from one year to the next. Whether it will be reversed depends on the measures adopted, which are political. The solution is to strengthen public health, as well as social and community services, and create policies that reduce inequality. Because that happens a lot in this society, I don’t know if they are real mental health problems or if the family, community, and social emotional control that have historically provided cohesion and warmth to the community are failing, and Currently the community is overloaded, overwhelmed and has to accept what happens to her in a very lonely way.
What does society need for good mental health?
In addition to powerful public health and education, decent wages and decent living conditions, people can work and don’t need to be there 24/7 to support the mortgage; We will all be calmer and the tension will be less. The prevalence of mental health, its incidence and its diagnosis, but what does it mean that 12 million Spaniards are taking psychotropic drugs or that 30-40% report a mental health problem, according to the CIS? This means that we have a social problem, not a health problem. Poor living conditions have an impact on your health, and not just mental; It would be wrong not to analyze the underlying problem.