The Globe and Mail, a Canadian news source, recently published a piece emphasising the role of poverty in mental illness. Studies in Canada, in Singapore, and throughout the world have revealed that poverty aggravates existing mental health conditions; and it can actually be an indirect root cause in some cases. Get the details on the poverty issue and its correlation with mental health in Singapore.

A Cycle that Starts at Home

Poverty can be a trigger in several different ways. Growing up in a poor household, children may be exposed to more stress and fighting between their parents because of the money troubles. Parents may be absent more often due to work as they try to make enough money to live; so children are left to fend for themselves, sometimes going hungry, failing to get enough sleep, or lacking the help they need to complete assignments.

A Path to Failure

A lack of support from parents, along with the emotional pressures of the trouble at home, may lead to lower grades in school. Children may feel hopeless and demoralised, and they may even come to believe that they are less intelligent than others. Some may drop out because of the lack of support or incentive, while others drop out in order to work and help the family survive.

The Devastating Effects for School Dropouts

When teens drop out of school and fail to pursue higher education, they limit their future earning potential. With higher education and a degree, these young people could earn a good salary and rise to a new income level. However, if they drop out, they may end up wasting their potential to create a better life for themselves. With marriage and kids of their own, life only becomes harder, and training for higher-level jobs seems less and less possible. The cycle of poverty begins again.

Mental Health Issues Linked to Poverty

Somewhere in this cycle, mental health problems can begin to develop. Tension in the home can lead to anxiety disorders. Poor grades, coupled with the family situation, can trigger depression. Poor kids are more susceptible to bullying, which adds to the problem. Among teens, drugs and alcohol can become a temporary escape— an escape that eats up their hard-earned money and turns them into addicts. Mental health problems become worse over time, finally becoming debilitating and costing the government hefty amounts due to necessary treatment programs.
Addressing poverty more effectively may actually save the government money in the long run.

Not only will treatment costs be reduced, but the workforce will be supplied with additional people who are mentally healthy and capable of more creativity and productivity. Job creation, stimulus programmes, and other anti-poverty strategies can make a significant difference for the people of Singapore.

If you or a loved one suffers from mental illness or a possible mental health condition, visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. Our quiet, confidential offices are a comfortable place to seek care and treatment. With the help of our skilled Singapore psychiatrists, you can make changes that will benefit your whole life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: The Globe and Mail, 8 May 2017