The global pandemic of Covid-19 has marked the last two years. While the world and the media were focused on the pandemic, among young adults, the silent pandemic was taking lives.

Anxiety and depression symptoms have increasingly risen over the last two years. However, this is commonly linked to the Covid pandemic; it is instead a result of the economic recession we are experiencing.

Governments and public health agencies have not addressed this issue. It is estimated that an average of 140,000 people attempt suicide each year in the UK, around 350 attempts each day; 18 of them result in death, and 1 in 4 people are going to be diagnosed with a mental health condition throughout their lives. 

The World Health Organization carried out research across 130 countries, and the results showed that mental health services had been diminished, whereas the increase in the need for these services has more than doubled. 

Many people wait in general hospital wards for a bed in a psychiatric ward for weeks due to the lack of resources towards an increasing issue. In the meantime, pharmaceuticals profit from prescription psychiatric medications that constitute a ‘plaster’ for an underlying problem. Therefore, mental health services must be an integral part of universal healthcare.

Recently, there has been an increase in mental health campaigns that advocate for the need to ask for help. These campaigns are reasonable; however, there is always the other side to the coin. Why would anyone want to seek help if there is a constant violation of human rights in the psychiatric practice?

Physical restraints and forced medication are sustained practices in hospitals and psychiatric wards. If the solution does not come hand in hand with allocating more resources for mental health, what is the answer?

It is high time we rethink and address the issue of care as a society and mental health services. Unquestionably, the youth needs a change. We need affordable housing, decent working conditions and a system that cares about its citizens and treats us with dignity and respect when we are at our lowest.

It is alarming, to say the least, to know that suicide in Europe is the first cause of death for not natural reasons among young people and that men die double as much as women. Now more than ever, it is time to overturn gender stereotypes and teach men, and young boys that crying and showing vulnerability, is okay and does not make you any less man. Furthermore, it is time to reclaim our right to inhabit this world as the young generation we are. Mental health is healthcare, and the economic instability and the burden of traditional conceptions are ingrained in the generations that precede us; if we do not change this, it will just be an ongoing issue.

Alen Melero Yerinkova

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