Compared to over 100 years ago mental illness, particularly depression, is predicted to be one of the major health burdens of this decade. Making the education of mental health imperative for the success of young people. Currently, it is estimated that 850,000 children suffer from a mental illness. Those suffering from mental illness are a lot more susceptible to poverty.
1 in 5 children ages 13-18 years old have, or will have, a serious mental illness in their lifetime. 11% of these children/teens have mood disorders, 10% have a conduct disorder, and 8% have an anxiety disorder. All of these leave a significant impact on the person, especially when it goes undiagnosed.
Poverty and mental illness are strongly connected.
For children, the long-term mental health effects of poverty are incredibly harmful. In addition to occupying cognitive resources needed for education (arguably the clearest path out of poverty), poverty is toxic to children. Persistent stress and exposure to trauma trigger harmful stress hormones that permanently affect children’s brain development and even their genes. The damage to childhood development is so severe that medical professionals now describe the early effects of poverty as a childhood disease.
Mental illness is becoming more and more common in our modern world today. Specifically in the United States, one in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness. This included anything from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder.
The World Health Organization is taking action against mental illness with regards to poverty.
A number of principles and actions, consistent with the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, will substantially improve the lives of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities and thus improve development outcomes for these individuals, their families, and their communities.
Mental health services should be integrated systematically into all health services including primary level care.
Mental health issues should be integrated into broader health policies, programmes, and partnerships.
Mental health should be included in services during and after emergencies.
Mental health issues should be taken into account within social services and housing development.
Mental health issues should be mainstreamed into education, and children with mental and psychosocial disabilities should be supported to access schooling.
Employment and income generating opportunities must be created for people with mental and psychosocial disabilities.
Human rights should be strengthened by developing policies and laws that protect the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities.
There should be investment in developing the capacity of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities to participate in public affairs, including the support of service user-led movements.
Development actors should create mechanisms to involve people with mental and psychosocial disabilities in decision-making processes.
With these changes, it's very likely that mental health issues would decline, and therefore, so would poverty.