Mental health and wellness is a spectrum. Although some people may have a genetic pre-disposition to mental illness, anyone can become mentally unwell – regardless of age, social background, ethnicity, gender or intelligence level.
Certain psychosocial factors can reduce a person's capacity to cope with work or study-related stress and can increase the likelihood for developing various types of mental illness. These can include:
- Chronic physical or mental health disorder
- Bereavement or trauma
- Relationship conflict
- Poor social support
- Long term unemployment
- Prolonged exposure to stress
- Problematic patterns of drug & alcohol use
- Psychological factors (low self-esteem; perfectionism)
- Family history of mental health issues
- Financial stressors
It is important to recognise that regardless of contributing factors people cannot 'snap out' of a mental health problem, including stress, depression and anxiety – and they may need to access professional assistance.