Mental health problems worsen with poor literacy


eMediNexus    29 January 2023

A study published in the journal Mental Health and Social Inclusion claims to be the first to investigate the relationship between literacy and mental health on a global scale. It stated that a review of studies examining data from nine nations, including India, revealed that persons with low literacy suffered more risk of mental health issues like loneliness, despair, and anxiety.


Experts said that despite increased literacy rates over the previous 50 years; still around 773 million adults are illiterate worldwide. They discovered a significant correlation between literacy and outcomes related to mental health in different countries. Women are particularly impacted by lower literacy rates in developing countries and those with a history of conflict.


The team examined data from 19 studies assessing mental health and literacy. Nearly two million people participated in these researches, which were conducted in nine different nations: Brazil, China, Ghana, Iran, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and the US. The researchers evaluated the generally accepted association between these two parameters using mental health and literacy data.


The researchers pointed out several factors, such as poverty or being in a region with a history of conflict that may impact mental health and literacy. People with lower literacy were more likely to be impoverished or to engage in criminal activity, which increased their risk of mental health issues like anxiety and depression, chronic diseases, and shorter life spans.


The researchers also found that individuals with higher literacy levels typically experience better social outcomes, including more access to good jobs, higher wages, and more palatable food and housing options leading to better mental health.


(Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/poor-literacy-linked-to-worse-mental-health-problems-study-101674819899487.html)

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