The impact of mental health to the UK economy has recently been valued by the Mental Health Foundation at around £100 billion, and with this figure increasing year on year, the problem is swiftly becoming an epidemic. ‘Severe’ mental health issues have been on the rise since the 1990’s, and the NHS has now confirmed that as many as 1 in 6 people are currently suffering from poor mental health at any one time. Interestingly, mental health issues have been more prevalent in men, particularly those under the age of 45, however, in recent years the number of women with mental health symptoms has risen dramatically – making this a nationwide and entirely indiscriminate issue.
Given the data that has been presented, it is clear to see the importance of #WorldMentalHealthDay, particularly to those in the UK. The awareness of the plight is growing, and therefore solutions to mental health issues have been at the forefront of the medical practice and government health. Unfortunately, many of the solutions have been found to be ineffective – prescription drugs and the premise of using police custody as a place to place people with mental health issues has had negative consequences, and therefore alternative therapies and theories on how to manage mental health have come to fruition.
At Healthy Nibbles we value, understand and embrace the importance of mental health, but also see the impacts of the recent date, both in a corporate environment and in the home. One of the key ways we feel mental health can be improved is through diet and nutrition. Diet has long been linked with physical health but its impact on mental health is only just starting to be appreciated. The brain, just like any other organ needs to be fed, and with the changes in eating behaviors seen in recent decades (more additives, preservatives, and processed foods) many argue that this has severely increased the chances of people struggling from poor mental health.
In conclusion, a recent report by the Mental Health Foundation stated:
“The body of evidence linking diet with mental health is growing at a rapid pace. As well as its impact on feelings of mood and general wellbeing, the evidence demonstrates its contribution to the development, prevention and management of specific mental health problems.
The implications are far-reaching for all those with a stake in the care, treatment and prevention of mental illness. They must be embraced by stakeholders if current and future generations are to ease the growing health, economic and social burden of mental ill-health.
There is an urgent need for policy-makers, practitioners, industry, service users and consumers to give proper credence to the role that nutrition plays in mental health.”
Comments will be approved before showing up.