How Does the Lack of Access to Education Affect Mental Health?
Mental health is a prevalent issue across the human population in today’s world. However, the causes of mental health are varied and not as well understood, due to the complexities in experimenting and understanding causation factors. One factor that has been linked to mental health is the socioeconomic status of a person; there is a correlation between lower socioeconomic status and higher mental health issues. A key causative factor in the wide berth of socioeconomic status could be access to education, due to its importance across many countries. Improving access to education could not only help people’s mental health, but also government’s who seek to lessen the costs of mental health issues like depression on the economy, and also improve the lives of people who are indirectly affected by such mental issues.
Many effects on social health by lack of education develop through a separate variable being influenced; for example, a lack of education can decrease the probability for a stable job and income, decreasing the likelihood of a stable job and support group around a person. Lack of education can also lead to tensions in relationships, lack of development of social skills, and the establishment of bad behaviors like smoking, drinking, etc. These issues in a person, paired with social judgement or direct psychological effects (in the case of ingesting drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes) can cause issues in a person’s mental health. This is seen in a study titled Education and mental health: Do psychosocial resources matter?, where it is stated that, “An educational gradient was found for depressive symptoms, as the risk was higher for the group with the lowest qualification referred to the reference group with a university degree”(Niemeyer).
Lack of education, specifically about mental health, can cause an increase in mental health issues, even in those with a better education. Yietzi Weiner, Editor In Chief of Medium's Authority Magazine, states that “The biggest contributor to stigma is a lack of education about the nature of mental illnesses. Often, there are no physiological signs that explain the condition, which results in blaming the individual and/or their family for their problems.”(Weiner). Weiner believes that the lack of education on mental health issues can increase mental health issues because the patient is blamed for his or her issues, leading to a lack of a support group for the patient and exacerbating the symptoms of the mental illness. This issue is particularly dangerous as it can affect people of all nations, race, ethnicity, and culture; in fact, this is an issue in first world education systems. The lack of education specifically on mental health issues lead to the same issues as a general lack of education presents for mental health.
The lack of education to people can cause mental health issues, but through indirect effects. A lack of education leads to lower socioeconomic access through the cause of lack of job and income stability, stable relationships with people, and increased uptake of harmful substances. These issues often amplify each other, leading to exacerbation of mental health issues and their system. This issue can be solved by the expansion of education to many students, especially in the field of mental health. Although difficult and expensive to implement, the policy change will not only benefit the population of the country or state it is implemented in, but also the economic and social state of that country/state, leading to more prosperity for its citizens. However, the individual must also be looked after, and although the increase of education may not eliminate all causative factors of mental health issues, it will definitely go a long way to help people cope with such issues