Last updated on November 4th, 2023 at 03:49 pm
Mental health is often overlooked as something that isn’t as important as physical health. However, it is just as crucial, if not more crucial than your physical health.
More people in the world today are suffering from one mental wellness issue or the other, ranging from mild to severe disorders, and where it gets worse is they are oblivious to it.
Healthy mental state allows individuals to lead fulfilling lives, cope with everyday stressors, and form healthy relationships with others while poor mental well-being can lead to mental illnesses and disorders that affect the mood, thinking, behaviour, and overall functioning of an individual.
Mental illnesses can have a significant impact on an individual’s life, including their ability to work, form relationships, and engage in daily activities.
Mental wellness awareness has increased in recent years, as more people acknowledge the importance of seeking help for mental well-being issues.
Organizations and healthcare providers have also worked to reduce the stigma surrounding mental fitness and to improve access to mental well-being services.
While there is still much work to be done, progress has been made in promoting mental wellness and improving the lives of those affected by mental illness.
In this post, as a psychologist who has been in the field for decades, I will talk about the basics of mental fitness, its importance, types, causes of the disorders, and how to maintain good mental state, including therapies.
There will be links included in this article to other specific topics, or check the mental wellness category on this website for more.
Brief Explanation of What Mental Health is
Mental health refers to the overall well-being of an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social state of mind.
It is an integral aspect of human health and involves the ability to manage daily life stressors, maintain healthy relationships, and make sound decisions.
Good mental fitness promotes a positive outlook, enhanced self-esteem, and good resilience to stress and life challenges.
Conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders can adversely affect an individual’s ability to function normally.
The stigma associated with mental illness often makes people hesitant to seek help, which can exacerbate the condition over time.
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Maintaining good mental state involves a range of practices, including self-care, social connections, and seeking professional support when necessary.
Practices such as getting adequate sleep, proper nutrition, regular exercise, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and cultivating a positive outlook can go a long way in promoting good mental well-being.
Creating a supportive environment, engaging in social activities, and seeking professional assistance when needed can help individuals cope with challenges and live happy, fulfilling lives.
Importance of Mental Health
It impacts how we think, feel, and behave in everyday life. As a result, it is essential to prioritize your mental well-being and take care of it.
Here are some reasons why mental fitness is so vital:
1. It Impacts Physical Health
Mental fitness and physical health are interconnected. Individuals with mental illness have a higher risk of developing chronic physical health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Managing and taking care of your mental fitness can help prevent these physical health problems.
2. It Affects Relationships
Your mental state has an impact on your relationships with your loved ones, friends, and co-workers.
Having good mental well-being means maintaining healthy and positive relationships with others. Good mental health helps build social resilience, which is necessary to cope with challenging relationship dynamics.
3. It Affects Work Productivity
Maintaining good mental well-being can improve work productivity. Stress and anxiety can disrupt focus and concentration, which can affect the quality of our work.
On the other hand, good mental fitness can enhance focus and creativity and improve success in the workplace.
4. It Can Improve Overall Quality of Life
It can also improve your overall quality of life. It helps you feel happy, confident, and in control of your life, leading to a more fulfilling existence.
Poor mental conditions can often lead to unhappiness, insecurity, and feelings of uneasiness.
5. It Reduces Stigma
Talking openly about mental illness, seeking help when needed, and treating mental issues as an essential aspect of our being can reduce the associated stigma.
It can help us put an end to stigmatization and promote mental well-being advocacy, further prompting healthy lifestyles and behaviors.
Why is Mental Health a Topic of Concern?
It is a topic of concern because it affects the well-being of individuals, families, communities, and society at large.
Issues arising from mental problems can lead to a range of negative outcomes, such as decreased quality of life, impaired daily functioning, social isolation, and even suicide.
Untreated mental conditions can also increase the risk of developing physical health problems and can contribute to the ongoing cycle of poverty and social exclusion.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 individuals worldwide will experience mental fitness issues at some point in their lives, making it a significant public health concern that requires attention and intervention at all levels.
Addressing mental condition concerns can improve the overall health and productivity of individuals, families, and communities, and ultimately contribute to a happier, more prosperous society.
Types of Mental Health Disorders
Mental disorders are not a result of personal weakness or a lack of character but are rather caused by a combination of biological, environmental, and social factors.
There are several types of disorders, each with its own unique symptoms and causes. Here are some of the different types:
1. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive, persistent worry and fear about everyday situations or activities.
These disorders can be triggered by specific events, such as a traumatic experience, or can be general in nature and occur without any specific trigger.
2. Mood Disorders
Mood disorders refer to a group of mental conditions that cause a significant change in an individual’s mood or emotional state.
Depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder are examples
3. Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are characterized by long-term patterns of behavior and thought patterns that differ from social and cultural norms.
These disorders can cause significant distress in relationships and day-to-day life.
4. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a group of mental conditions that involve an unhealthy relationship with food and body image.
Examples of eating disorders are, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
5. Substance Use Disorders
Substance use disorders are a group of conditions that involve the misuse of drugs or alcohol. These disorders can cause significant physical, emotional, and social problems.
Schizophrenia is a chronic condition that affects an individual’s perception of reality.
Symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and abnormal behavior.
7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that involves unwanted, recurrent thoughts or obsessions and repetitive behaviors or compulsions.
8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that occurs after a traumatic event.
Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety.
9. Psychotic Disorders
Psychotic disorders are conditions that cause a person to lose touch with reality, experience delusions and hallucinations, and have difficulty thinking and communicating.
Causes of Mental Health Disorders
Disorders are complex and multifaceted, and the causes of these conditions are often interrelated.
While some are caused by a combination of genetics and experiences, others are caused by environmental factors or brain chemistry.
Regardless of the specific cause, early diagnosis and effective treatment can help improve outcomes for individuals with disorders.
Increasing public awareness of mental condition issues and providing support to those in need is a vital step towards addressing this growing public health crisis.
Understanding the causes of these disorders is essential to providing effective treatment and support to those in need.
Here are four key factors that are known to contribute to mental problems and disorders:
Disorders can be hereditary, with individuals who have a family history of anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, or other mental illnesses being more likely to develop similar conditions.
There may be specific genes that increase a person’s risk of developing certain mental disorders, although there is still much to learn about this area of research.
2. Life Experiences
Traumatic experiences like abuse, neglect, accidents, or the sudden loss of a loved one can trigger the onset of mental disorders.
Poor living conditions or lack of access to basic necessities can also cause disorders.
Childhood trauma, in particular, can lead to long-term disorders if left unaddressed.
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3. Brain Chemistry/Emotional Factors
Disorders are often associated with an imbalance in the chemicals that regulate brain activity, called neurotransmitters.
Common neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which play essential roles in controlling mood and emotions.
When these chemicals are not functioning correctly, disorders can develop.
4. Environmental Factors
Environmental factors like exposure to toxins, poor nutrition, substance abuse, or environmental pollution can cause mental well-being disorders.
A lack of social support or economic instability can also be environmental factors that contribute to mental fitness problems.
Signs of Mental Health Issues
Mental illnesses are often hard to identify as they do not show any physical symptoms. It is essential to be aware of the signs to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment.
Here are some of the most common signs of mental health issues that everyone should look out for:
- Extreme Mood Swings: If a person experiences extreme mood swings that persist for an extended period, it is an indication of a potential mental illness.
- Withdrawal and Isolation: If a person starts isolating themselves or avoiding social interaction, it can be a sign of an underlying mental problem.
- Sleep Issues: Disturbed sleep, insomnia, or excess sleeping are significant signs of disorders, and if left untreated, such problems can cause severe physical and mental illness.
- Feelings of Hopelessness and Despair: If a person feels gloomy or expresses constant feelings of despair, it is crucial to seek professional help.
- Poor Concentration: Difficulty in concentrating on daily tasks or work can also be an indicator of mental unwellness.
- Substance Abuse: Self-medication through drugs or alcohol can often lead to mental health issues, making it essential to address any addiction issues.
- Extreme Anxiety or Fear: An excessive degree of fear or anxiety can often indicate particular mental illnesses such as OCD or panic disorders.
- Changes in Eating Habits: Eating disorders such as anorexia or compulsive binge eating can also indicate underlying problems.
- Physical Symptoms: Sometimes, mental problems can manifest as physical symptoms. If a person complains of frequent headaches, stomach pain, or body aches, it could be related to mental disorders.
- Suicidal Thoughts: A person talking about death or expressing the desire or attempts to end their life is an emergency that requires prompt attention.
Diagnosis of Mental Health Issues
Mental problems can affect anyone, and it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses in order to receive appropriate treatment.
Diagnosis of mental disorders can be complex and require the expertise of mental health professionals.
The Importance of Diagnosis
Diagnosis is a crucial step in the process of treating mental issues.
A proper diagnosis is essential for receiving the right treatment, and it can also help individuals and their loved ones understand their symptoms and provide a sense of relief.
Furthermore, a diagnosis can help to remove the stigma associated with mental disorders, allowing individuals to feel more comfortable seeking help and support.
Diagnostic Tools and Approaches
Mental health professionals use a variety of tools and approaches to diagnose mental health issues.
- Clinical interviews
- Psychological assessments, and
- Medical tests
Clinical interviews are the most common diagnostic tool used.
During a clinical interview, a professional will ask questions about an individual’s symptoms, medical history, and family history.
This information can help the professional make a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment.
Psychological assessments are another important tool used in the diagnosis of mental illness.
These assessments can help to identify underlying psychological factors that may be contributing to an individual’s symptoms.
Psychological assessments may include tests that measure cognitive function, personality, and emotional state.
Medical tests, such as blood tests and brain scans, can also be used to help diagnose mental health issues.
These tests can help to identify physical changes in the brain or body that may be contributing to an individual’s symptoms.
Benefits of Early Intervention
Early intervention is essential for the successful treatment of mental illnesses.
The sooner an individual receives a diagnosis and begins treatment, the more likely they are to experience positive outcomes.
Early intervention can also help to prevent the development of more serious mental issues and can improve an individual’s overall quality of life.
In addition to improving outcomes, early intervention can also reduce the cost of treatment.
Mental illnesses that go untreated can lead to more serious problems, which may require more expensive and intensive treatment.
Treatment of Mental Health Issues
Mental illnesses can be challenging and disruptive to daily life.
Fortunately, there are several effective treatments available to help individuals manage and overcome mental health issues.
Here are the various treatments available:
- Medication, and
- Lifestyle changes
Therapy is a common and effective treatment for mental illness.
There are several types of therapy available, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and psychodynamic therapy.
Therapy sessions typically involve a professional who helps the individual understand their symptoms, develop coping skills, and work through their challenges.
CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to mental illnesses.
DBT is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals regulate their emotions and develop healthy coping skills.
Psychodynamic therapy is a type of therapy that explores how past experiences and relationships may impact an individual’s current mental state.
Medication can also be an effective treatment for mental illnesses.
Medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers can help to manage symptoms of mental illnesses.
It is important to note that medication should always be prescribed and monitored by a medical professional, as different medications may have different side effects and interactions.
Lifestyle changes can also be an effective way to manage mental illnesses.
These changes can include exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management.
Exercise can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, while a healthy diet can provide the necessary nutrients for brain function.
Good sleep hygiene can also improve health, as sleep deprivation can exacerbate symptoms of mental illnesses.
Additionally, managing stress through mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and therapy can help to reduce symptoms of mental illnesses.
Alternative therapies such as art therapy, music therapy, and animal-assisted therapy can also be effective treatments for mental illnesses.
These therapies can provide individuals with creative outlets to express themselves and explore their emotions in a safe and supportive environment.
Animal-assisted therapy can also provide individuals with a sense of comfort and companionship.
Mental Health and Stigma
Mental health is one of the most important aspects of human life. Our mental fitness defines our psychological well-being and helps us in leading a healthy life.
However, despite the numerous efforts and advancements made in the field, it continues to be stigmatized in our society.
The stigma attached to it is one of the biggest obstacles in providing proper care and treatment to people struggling with different disorders.
What is Mental Health Stigma?
Stigma is disapproval, avoidance, or discrimination against people with a specific trait or condition.
In the case of mental well-being, stigma may come from believing that people with mental illnesses are weak, unpredictable, or dangerous.
This stigma can lead to various problems, including reluctance to seek treatment or even denial of the existence of a problem.
The negative attitudes and beliefs associated with mental illnesses can increase the severity of the disorder and hinder recovery.
People experiencing disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or bipolar disorder may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their symptoms and, as a result, may not seek professional help.
Moreover, stigma may also affect the way people experiencing disorders interact with their family and friends, leading to social isolation, leading to further exacerbating mental illnesses.
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Addressing the Mental Health Stigma
It is essential to address and remove the stigma attached to mental well-being disorders so that individuals feel comfortable and secure in seeking help.
The promotion of mental fitness awareness is key to eliminating stigma.
The media plays a crucial role in shaping people’s attitudes toward well-being disorders, and the portrayal of people with the problem should be positive, encouraging, and supportive.
It is crucial to show that people with mental illnesses can manage their symptoms and lead productive lives with the right care and support.
Another way to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness is to educate people about mental illnesses.
Mental fitness education should begin at an early age and should be an ongoing part of school curricula.
Employers should also provide their employees with access to mental health resources and support, destigmatizing mental illness in the workplace.
Different Forms of Stigma
There are different forms of stigma that people with mental disorders face. These include:
- Stereotyping: Stereotyping is the perception of all individuals with mental illnesses as being violent or dangerous. It’s a false assumption that people with mental disorders are always unpredictable and unmanageable.
- Discrimination: Discrimination is treating people with mental illnesses differently because of their condition. It includes being denied employment, housing, and educational opportunities because of their illness.
- Prejudice: Prejudice is the view or belief that people with mental illnesses are somehow inferior or weak. This belief is based on social attitudes and can lead to harmful behaviors that are grounded in ignorance.
- Self-stigma: Self-stigma occurs when people with such conditions internalize the negative stereotypes and attitudes that others have about them. It can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment and can prevent people from seeking or accepting treatment.
- Structural Stigma: Structural stigma refers to the policies, practices, and laws that create barriers to treatment and services. It includes inadequate funding, poor access to care, and biased policies that prevent equitable access to care.
Myths Surrounding Mental Health
Myths surrounding mental fitness are misguided beliefs that people have about various mental illnesses and conditions.
These myths are not based on facts or evidence and often result in stigmatization and discrimination against people experiencing mental disorders.
- Mental illness is a sign of weakness or personal failure: This myth perpetuates the idea that those with mental problems are to blame for their condition and reinforces the idea that seeking treatment is a sign of weakness.
- Mental illness is rare: Mental illnesses are actually more common than many people think. One in four adults will experience a mental problem at some point in their life.
- Mental illness is caused by bad parenting: While early childhood experiences can contribute to the development of mental health issues, it is not the only factor. Genetics, brain chemistry, and other environmental factors also play a role.
- People with mental illness are violent and dangerous: In reality, people with mental problems are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. This myth contributes to the stigmatization of people with this problem and can even impact their ability to gain employment or access to healthcare.
- Mental illness cannot be cured: Many conditions can be effectively managed through therapy, medication, or a combination of both. With proper treatment, many people with mental illnesses can lead full and productive lives.
Challenges Faced by People Suffering from Mental Disorders
People suffering from mental disorders face a wide range of challenges, including:
- Stigma: Mental illnesses are often stigmatized, and people with mental health problems may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help.
- Discrimination: People with mental disorders may face discrimination in education, employment, and housing.
- Access to care: Care is often expensive, and there may not be enough professionals available in a particular area.
- Lack of support: People with mental illnesses may feel isolated and unsupported, particularly if their family and friends do not understand their condition.
- Physical health problems: Mental issues can lead to physical health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which can further exacerbate their conditions.
- Substance abuse: People with mental disorders may be more prone to substance abuse, which can lead to further mental and physical health problems.
- Difficulty with daily living: Mental issues can make it difficult to carry out daily living activities such as bathing, grooming, and cooking, which can lead to social isolation and further mental health problems.
Mental Health in the Workplace
Mental health is an essential aspect of overall well-being, and it plays a significant role in the workplace.
With increasing awareness of mental illnesses, companies are now recognizing the importance of creating a supportive environment for their employees.
1. Stress in the Workplace
Stress is a common issue faced by employees in various industries. Factors such as high workloads, tight deadlines, and interpersonal conflicts can contribute to increased stress levels.
Prolonged exposure to stress can lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and burnout.
It is crucial for employers to recognize the signs of stress and take appropriate measures to alleviate it.
2. How Companies Can Support Mental Health
Companies can support mental well-being in several ways. First, they can create a positive work environment by promoting open communication, encouraging teamwork, and encouraging work-life balance.
Employers should also provide training to managers and supervisors on how to recognize and address mental conditions among their team members.
Another way companies can support mental wellness is by implementing policies that promote mental well-being.
These policies may include flexible work hours, remote work options, and regular check-ins with employees to discuss their mental well-being.
3. Providing Resources
Employers can provide resources to help employees manage their mental well-being.
This may include offering access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which provide confidential counseling and support services for employees facing personal or work-related issues.
Companies can also organize workshops and seminars on stress management, mindfulness, and other mental fitness topics.
In addition, employers can create a resource library with information on mental fitness, including brochures, articles, and videos.
This library can be made available to employees both online and in physical spaces within the workplace.
Encouraging Mental Fitness Days
Mental fitness days are an essential aspect of supporting employee well-being.
Employers should encourage employees to take time off when they feel overwhelmed or need a break to recharge. This can help prevent burnout and improve overall productivity.
To promote these days, companies can create a policy that allows employees to take a certain number of days per year without any negative consequences.
Employers should also ensure that managers and supervisors are supportive of employees taking mental well-being days and do not stigmatize or penalize them for doing so.
How to Maintain Good Mental Health
As humans, we are constantly facing challenges in life. Whether it’s stress from work, financial difficulties, or personal issues, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
Our mental state is critical for our well-being, and it’s important to maintain good mental conditions through positive habits and self-care techniques.
Here are some ways to help you maintain good mental wellbeing:
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great stress reliever and helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. It’s important to make exercise a regular part of your routine, even if it’s only a few minutes every day. Walking, running, yoga, and cycling are all great options.
- Stay connected with loved ones: Having a strong support system is crucial for good mental wellbeing. Keep in touch with friends and family, even if you can’t meet them in person. Call or video chat regularly, or meet up for a socially distanced walk or meal.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and not letting our thoughts control us. Take a few minutes every day to meditate, practice deep breathing, or listen to calming music.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for our mental and physical health. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and establish a consistent sleep schedule.
- Nutrition: A balanced diet that includes essential nutrients such as omega-3s, antioxidants, and B vitamins can help maintain healthy brain function and reduce the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
- Set achievable goals: Achieving goals gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment, which can boost our confidence and self-esteem. Set small, attainable goals and celebrate your progress along the way.
- Seek professional help: If you’re struggling with your mental well-being, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Therapy, counseling, or medication can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions.
Mental well-being has gained significant attention and recognition in recent years, with increased awareness and understanding of the importance of mental wellness in our overall well-being.
The outlook on mental wellness is a mix of challenges and opportunities for improvement.
Stigma and access to mental care services remain significant challenges, but increased awareness and support for mental wellness, as well as advances in technology, provide hope for better outcomes.
Despite progress, mental illnesses continue to be stigmatized and misunderstood, leading to negative outcomes for those experiencing mental disorders.
Here is the current outlook on mental wellness, including challenges and opportunities for improvement.
Challenges in Mental Well-being
Stigma remains a significant challenge in mental issues. Many people still view mental disorders as a weakness or character flaws, leading to discrimination and a lack of support for those experiencing mental illnesses.
This stigma can also prevent individuals from seeking help and support, leading to further negative outcomes.
Access to mental care services is another challenge in mental health.
Many people do not have access to health services due to financial or geographic barriers, lack of health insurance, or limited availability of mental health professionals.
Mental issues are also often co-occurring with other issues, such as substance abuse and physical health problems.
This can make treatment more complex and require a multidisciplinary approach.
Opportunities for Improvement
Despite challenges, there are several opportunities for improvement in mental health.
Increased awareness and understanding of mental problems have led to greater recognition of the importance of mental wellness in overall well-being.
This has led to increased support and funding for mental wellness services.
Technology is also creating opportunities for improved mental health services.
Teletherapy, online support groups, and mental health apps are making mental wellness services more accessible and convenient for individuals.
Additionally, research is being conducted on the use of virtual reality and other innovative technologies to enhance treatment.
Furthermore, a growing number of individuals are speaking out about their experiences with mental illnesses, reducing stigma and creating a sense of community and support for victims.
Mental health is a vital aspect of our overall well-being, and it is essential to understand its basics.
Its concerns are not uncommon, and they affect people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, or social status.
Understanding the basics of mental fitness can help us identify the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders and seek appropriate support and treatment.
Taking care of our psychological health involves several factors, including healthy lifestyle choices, social connections, stress management, and seeking professional help when necessary.
It is also essential to combat the stigma surrounding mental well-being and encourage open and honest discussions about mental health concerns.
By prioritizing this area of our health, we can improve our quality of life, increase our resilience, and better cope with life’s challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is mental health?
It refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and it also influences our ability to handle stress, make decisions, and interact with others.
What are some common mental health disorders?
Some common mental disorders include anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders.
What are some signs that indicate a person may be struggling with their mental health?
Some signs that indicate a person may be struggling with their mental wellness include changes in their mood or behaviour, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal, excessive worrying or fear, persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, and suicidal thoughts.
How can I take care of my mental health?
Taking care of your mental wellness involves several factors, including engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, maintaining healthy relationships, managing stress, seeking support when necessary, and avoiding substance use.
Is mental health treatment effective?
Yes, mental wellness treatment can be highly effective, and there are various evidence-based therapies and medications available to help individuals manage their mental concerns. Seeking professional help is an essential step towards recovery and improving one’s overall well-being.
How can I support someone who is struggling with their mental health?
Supporting someone who is struggling with their mental illness involves listening to them without judgment, offering emotional support, encouraging them to seek professional help, and being patient and understanding throughout their recovery journey.
How can I combat the stigma surrounding mental health?
Combatting the stigma surrounding mental wellness involves educating yourself and others about mental health, sharing personal stories and experiences, advocating for equal treatment for mental illnesses, and promoting a culture of openness and acceptance regarding mental wellness in your community.
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Adolescent and Adult Psychologist
Pyo Merez (PsyD) is a certified adolescent and adult psychologist who has been on the frontline of helping adolescents and adults with mental health. An expert in cognitive and developmental psychology - social relationships, cultural contexts, and individual differences. He is also a speaker and panelist on issues bordering on budding young people.