Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

mental health0

(Ben Hershey, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Irmina Morawska, a 6 th year medical student of Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Mental Health is one of the most underrated topic that we all discuss about. It is as important as physical health. The people suffering from it are not confident enough to speak about it and the society still considers it as a stigma. According to Polish statistics maintained by the National Police Headquarters in 2018, 746 teenagers aged 13-18 and 1,143 people aged 19-24 attempted to commit a Suicide. This is a problem as big as any other because almost every age group, both genders and doesn’t matter what profession – everybody is affected by it.

Let’s have a look at knowing more about mental health, suicide prevention and what can be done to help the martyrs. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think and determines how we handle with stress, relate to others and make decisions. What’s more, mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) settled key points is to work at the grass roots – educate humans, elevate suicide awareness, give support and show how sufferers can incorporate prominent strategies into an action plan.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health problem, you might be looking for information on your diagnosis, treatment options and where to go for support. It’s your battle, but you don’t need to fight alone – helping hands are around the corner. Educational Programs are prepared to work with counselors and teachers, especially in schools – ideal places to teach suicide prevention to youth. Everyone can benefit from learning the warning signs of suicide and how to ACT (Acknowledge – Care – Tell). Don’t hesitate and ask local gatekeepers a favour for receiving help you are vested in.

What about joining a Support Group? It’s a prevention community which consists of people impacted by mental health disorders or suicide. The major benefit from the group is the possibility of expressing true feelings of anger and/or guilt not only without any judgement, but espiecially with a relief that the members are not going crazy – they’re just grieving. What’s more, the Support Group is a place to meet people who truly care about you and your needs.

We have to remember that not all wounds are visible. Public Events (f. ex. campaigns) concerning suicide awareness and prevention will play a significant role in fostering sensibleness of how attitudes affect views on suicide. They’ll teach individuals the signs and symptoms to look out for, dispel common myths about suicide and include tips on how to have a constructive conversation with sufferers.

In conclusion, sound of mental health is fundamental to the well-being of our society. Suicide is complicated and tragic. It’s the highest time to stop for a while, broaden horizons, look at the problem from stricter side and implement prominent strategies into a coherent suicide prevention programs to combat this growing epidemic of one of the most preventable forms of death of 21st century.

About the author

Irmina Morawska is a 6 th year medical student of Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. Since 4 years active member of IFMSA-Poland – a part of International Federation of Medical Students Associations, currently entrusted with the position of National Officer on Medical Education (NOME). Advocacy and project management supporter particularly interested in anaesthesiology, cardiology and travelling. Learning about different cultures and languages makes her exhilarated, especially by acquiring the knowledge of newly met customs on everyday basis. Devoted soft skills trainer with
motivation, creativity and opened state of mind: „Strive for Greatness. Always. Inspire and Be Inspired”.

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