The importance of good mental health is a message that is slowly making its way through society. We are increasingly aware that emotional wellbeing is essential for the individual, but it is also essential for the economy, as it is estimated that the global economy loses around one trillion dollars a year in productivity due to anxiety and depression alone.
Unfortunately, and this is why warnings have been raised, the pandemic has triggered high levels of psychological distress. There were already signs before covid-19 of worsening mental health among citizens, but it has been weakened by widespread closures, disruptions to routine and, in many cases, unemployment. While there are many nuances and in general, all citizens were affected by feelings of loneliness, anxiety, shortness of breath or palpitations, according to a Pew Research Centre survey, women were more prone to episodes of anxiety than men and people from lower-income households.
The World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Risks Report warned that deteriorating mental health is among the top five risks. The pandemic and its consequences had a direct impact on social cohesion and people’s well-being. But not only. In fact, children’s mental health tops the list of parents’ concerns. Parents fear that their children could suffer from anxiety or depression and think that the main trigger could be their children’s use of social networks.
At HRF we are sensitive to these issues because we believe that the home should be the place where people develop their emotional wellbeing in the most stable way and that in situations like Covid-19, homes should be prepared to cushion its effects and provide the person with the necessary tools that allow them to successfully cope with potential disruptions.
As you read this post, today, Thursday 16th March, the Home Renaissance Foundation team is attending as an observer think tank the Expert Meeting that The Family Watch has organised at the Ateneo de Madrid. The aim is to find out from psychologists and psychiatrists what are the causes of this worsening of mental health and how we can work to improve it.
The 2023 Barometer of this think tank revealed that the consumption of anxiolytics had skyrocketed in Spanish households in 2022. The causes of this deterioration in mental health in adults are to be found above all in economic difficulties (70%), feelings of loneliness (46%), and uncertainty in general (43%). With regard to young people, the impact on mental health points to the Internet. Thus, Spanish families consider that the main reasons for the deterioration of young people’s mental health are the influence of social networks (53%), the increase in bullying at school (43%) and low self-esteem (39%).
The data, in general, are aligned even depending on the source, we are facing a worrying panorama, with a complicated diagnosis but which allows us to know the causes in order to be able to work on the necessary measures to emerge stronger from this situation.