The causes of mental health problems go beyond the pandemic. This is why

A psychologist, Dr. Fisher, 58, has spent the past 10 years researching the effects of early life experiences on brain development. He also developed early childhood intervention programs for children from difficult socioeconomic backgrounds.

Dr. Fisher shares some of his thoughts.

Q: What is mental health and how important is it to individuals and society?

A: Physical health is only part of wellness. The extent to which people struggle with their emotions, moods and behavior can have devastating consequences for individuals and their relationships.

Poor mental health can also increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases. This means that when assessing overall health, we need to pay more attention to emotional well-being and mental health.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts and climate change, it has become very difficult for people worldwide, especially young people.

To them, the world doesn’t seem to have the same predictability as before – that is, if you work hard, you will get ahead and everything will be fine.

Today’s uncertainty is a source of much anxiety when thinking about the future.

Q:Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety have increased in recent years, especially among young people. Why is this so?

A: Historically, we knew that emotions fluctuate during childhood and adolescence, and did not view it as an obvious psychological or psychiatric diagnosis, like adult depression.

But in recent years awareness has increased. Social media has contributed to this as more people share information openly and freely, changing the way people experience mental health problems.

Social forces are also a concern for the young. It affects their perception of the future, more than adults, who generally have attained financial security, taken a job, built relationships and have a family.

For the young people who are developing their identity, it seems more difficult for them to achieve those things in what is perceived as an insecure environment.

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