Why is this necessary?
At the beginning of this century, Steve Jobs had a vision: he wanted both the computer as well as the mobile phone to become part of our identity, instead of just a machine. As we know now, his vision came true. It was not long ago that his dream seemed crazy and far away. The iPhone, which was intended to carry out his vision, came out in 2007. Today, we cannot even begin to imagine that the way we use our phones wouldn’t have been normal only a few years ago.
If you think that is fast, Elon musk is already working on integrating technology into our brain, making it part of our physical bodies and allowing us to answer text with our minds. You must think that’s crazy now, but remember that only a few years ago, smartphones being a part of ourselves seemed just as far-fetched.
Technology is growing exponentially.; that means it’s only going faster and faster, doubling continuously. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century: at today’s rate, its progress is estimated to be more than 20,000 years ahead!
Unfortunately, mental health has been rapidly declining with the rise of technology and social media. Today, our brain is being bombarded with an unfathomable amount of information, every second daily. The race for our attention by corporations, commercials, and influencers is messing up our brain chemistry, mainly our dopamine system. And all of this is happening too fast for our brain to adapt to. Furthermore, the pace at which society is progressing makes our future increasingly more uncertain and unpredictable, whilst we are becoming more isolated instead of interconnected. Today, everything is unstable and forever in motion, therefore, more than ever, the only solid and resilient thing left needs to be you.
Now, Gen Z (born 1995 – 2010) is the first generation to be born with high tech being the norm. They are also the generation reporting the worst mental health and higher loneliness than ever before.
According to WHO
- Mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. There has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade (to 2017).
NOTE: this was before the pandemic that created a mental health crisis on top of an existing mental health crisis!
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds
- Most mental health conditions can be effectively treated at a relatively low cost
- The gap between people needing care and those with access to care remains substantial
Increased investment is required on all fronts:
- for mental health awareness to increase through understanding and reducing stigma
- to increase access to quality mental health care and effective treatments
- for research to identify new treatments and improve existing ones for all mental disorders
Despite these figures, the global median of government health expenditure that goes to mental health is less than 2%.
Furthermore, according to CNBC: ”Despite making up the largest portion of the workforce, millennials own just 4.6% of wealth, compared to boomers that own 53% and Gen X that own 27%” Therefore, the generation that is in most need of mental health cannot afford it.
And think about this: what do these numbers really mean in a heavily stigmatized field? We can safely assume that the numbers are much worse in reality. Most people are suffering in secret, and most that need help aren’t even part of these statistics.