Q&A: Mental health

Q: What are neurological disorders and how many people are affected by them?

A: Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. In other words, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles.

Q: How can the human rights of people with mental disorders be promoted and protected?

A: People with mental disorders around the world are exposed to a wide range of human rights violations. The stigma they face means they are often ostracized from society and fail to receive the care they require. In some communities, people with mental disorders are banished to the edge of town where they are left semi-naked or in rags, tied up, beaten and left to go hungry.

Q: How common are headaches?

A: Headaches are extremely common. The most common type of headache is the "Tension Type Headache". Available data suggest that in developed countries, Tension Type Headache affects two-thirds of men and over 80% of women. Less well recognized is the toll of the chronic daily headache: up to one adult in 20 has a headache every – or nearly every – day.

Q: How can suicide be prevented?

A: Not all suicides can be prevented, but a majority can. There are a number of measures that can be taken at community and national levels to reduce the risk:

Q: What should be done to help survivors cope with the psychological impact of the tsunami?

A: People affected by a catastrophe like the tsunami of 26 December 2004 are exposed to extreme stress factors. These include personal danger, loss of kin, livelihood, homes, etc. Such stress increases the risk of mental health problems.

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