Mental health is a fundamental component to an individuals health and well-being . Mental health highlights a state of well-being where an individual is aware of and therefore not only has the ability to cope with regular life experiences and stressors, but also can work productively and contribute to their community in manners in which they desire.
As the World Health Organization emphasises;
"Mental health is fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life. On this basis, the promotion, protection and restoration of mental health can be regarded as a vital concern of individuals, communities and societies throughout the world".
Consequently, taking care of our mental and emotional health is now regarded just as important as taking care of our physical health; living with a disability affects mental health just as it affects physical or cognitive ability. Research shows people with disabilities are at a higher risk of developing mental health conditions
such as depression, anxiety and high levels of stress than those not living with a disability. Below are just some statistics supporting the comparison of impact mental health has on individuals living with a disability, in comparison to those reported to be living without a disability.
32 per cent of adults living with a disability experience high or very high psychological distress
compared with only 8% of those without a disability.
24% of adults with a disability experience very good or excellent health compared with 65% of those
without a disability.
23% of people with disabilities have a mental or behavioural disability as their main form. Of these,
3.8% have a mood affective disorder, such as depression.
How Does Living with a Disability Contribute to Anxiety and Depression?
There are a number of contributing factors to people with disability developing anxiety and
depression. These include:
Lack of employment opportunities/unemployment
Consequent lifestyle changes associated with acquiring a disability
So, What Can We Do To Help?
Studies have consistently reflected the benefits of social connection and physical activity in mental
health. A 2017 study found social connectedness and mental health were inextricably linked- and
social connection directly lead to improved mental health.
Physical activity has also been proven to have positive effects on mental health, in particular depression and anxiety in both people with and without disability. Numerous studies have shown that people who
exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of mental illness such as depression or anxiety, than those who do not. Another study study even reflected how 16 weeks of regular exercise was found to be equally as
effective as antidepressant medication in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Evidence shows psychological intervention can also help with emotional, mental and behavioural issues. Of course with careful assessment and planning, psychological treatments are proven to help manage and treat mental illness- in particular when intervened in conjunction with physical activity.
With the Heroes team by your side, we provide services that support your physical and mental health. We have an in-house psychologist, a purpose-built gym, Pilates studio and martial arts arena as well as an amazing social community to make you feel welcomed to the Heroes family- therefore keeping you feeling your best. We look forward to supporting you on your mental health journey.