Short guide for young adults on mental health

Risk factors of mental health problems

Combination of factors such as biomedical factors, genetic predisposition, unfavourable social, economic, cultural environments can negatively influence the wellbeing of the person and cause different levels of stress.

What is a medical health diagnosis?

There are often no physical symptoms, nor are there any biological tests that show the presence of a mental health condition. A health professional making a psychiatric diagnosis must rely on the client's own description of their thoughts and feelings and their observations of their client's behaviour.

What is psychiatric medication?

In some cases, people that receive a psychiatric diagnosis are prescribed psychiatric drugs as a form of treatment. Psychiatric medications are substances capable of affecting the mind, emotions and behaviour.
While there are effects that are beneficial and can reduce symptoms, there can also be less desirable effects that can impair functioning and endanger general health.

Main sources to categorise mental health problems


International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

How can you recover from a mental health problem?

This is a very personal journey that differs for individuals. Firstly, ask yourself what feeling better and what recovery looks like and feels like to you. Secondly, think about who you trust to talk with about this and what has been helpful or unhelpful to you in the past. Finally, pinpoint one thing you could do to make you feel better.

What can I do if I feel ashamed?

Start by writing down your own mental health story before sharing it. Next, find people that have or have had experiences similar to yours and listen to their stories. This can support you to become more comfortable and confident in articulating your own story and creating connections with peers that can help you.

What are my rights?

During the recovery process, you should not feel obliged or coerced into doing something or continuing a treatment that you are uncomfortable with or that is not working for you.
If you are a minor, you have a right to informed consent under international human right standards. If you are offered medication, it is important that you give your full consent to the treatment, and you receive and understand all of the information.

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