UPPM – Mental health and wellbeing in Monaco
Written by: Adrien CHAUVET, nurse at La Roseraie UPPM
Too often, mental health is neglected, viewed as an obscure, even shameful illness when problems occur. And yet mental health is vital to our wellbeing. Mental health is an integral part of an individual’s general state of health.
Several factors influence our mental health, including socioeconomic, biological and environmental factors. Our working conditions can also be decisive, since we spend a lot of time at work.
Far too often, we do not feel concerned. However, no family is immune from mental health issues (such as depression, anxiety, addiction, schizophrenia and anorexia). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health issues affect around one in four people around the world, regardless of the country or culture. WHO has estimated that, in 2020, depression was the second leading cause of disease and inability to work.
By setting out the foundations for this observation in a few lines, we can see the scale of the public health challenge posed by mental health. How can we improve our lives to just feel good or feel better?
Maintaining good mental health
To start with, we can simply look at the things we can improve in our daily lives. Improving wellbeing helps to improve mental health. This may involve making simple changes to our diets (when we eat, avoiding eating between meals, etc.), incorporating physical activity, meeting up with friends and family more regularly, getting involved with a club and doing something a little different. Adopting “common sense” is a great way to help you feel better. Very often, by moving from the known to the unknown, we are able to discover new experiences which are fulfilling for us and for others.
With these few recommendations, we can have a positive influence on our mental wellbeing, but sometimes the symptoms of a disease emerge and become ingrained despite our best efforts.
When does it become an illness?
There are certain symptoms that should raise flags:
● A tendency to loneliness
● Increased or excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol
● Stopping medication
● Disorganisation, in other words finding it very difficult to organise oneself
● Expressing oneself differently – the person may use strange, unusual or nonsense words
● Memory loss
● Difficulty in meeting family, work and social obligations
Some symptoms that you or another person may feel:
● Loss of appetite
● Extreme tiredness or exhaustion
● Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
● Difficulty concentrating
Psychological support in the Principality
Celebrating this anniversary also offers an opportunity to thank my predecessor, Dr Daniel ROUISON, who led the Centre for 16 years and helped to develop it, and Dr Philippe PASQUIER, who is still in post and has specific responsibility for managing the active file of colorectal cancer screening patients.
Get screening in Monaco
You should seek help as soon as these symptoms become persistent, repetitive or intense, and have a negative impact on you or on other people. When we identify these symptoms, it is important to be able to get help from friends and family or from professionals. The earlier someone seeks help, the better their prospects of recovery.
Breaking out of a sense of isolation is vital and there are solutions that can help ease this suffering. The Principality of Monaco is introducing an ambitious mental health plan, “Psychological Health and Wellbeing”, over the coming years to improve the support available to local people. There are well-established options for counselling and psychological support in the Principality at the Princess Grace Hospital or La Roseraie Psychiatry and Medical Psychology Unit (La Roseraie UPPM).
● Website Quebec.ca, « à propos des troubles mentaux »
● Website Santé Publique France, « Santé mentale »
● News.monacosanté.mc, « Un plan d’action pour la santé mentale »