Minimizing Mental Health Risks in the New Year

Happy New Year to you all!

Thanks for all the support, likes and shares. This year, your “safe and sane” articles will be more in response to your requests. Try to stay connected for all your mental health needs.

This article gives an overview of how to minimize your mental health risks this year.



Mental health is a state of holistic well-being that is demonstrable by the individual’s ability to realize his/her full potentials, work productively, cope with normal stresses of life and contribute reasonably to issues within their community.

A mentally healthy individual is also expected to have a harmonious and mutually acceptable relationship with others. Risks are the chances of things going wrong, while risk factors are those factors that increase the likelihood or the statistical chances of things going wrong. 

With regards to issues of health generally, experts try to pool together individuals who have a specific health challenge (illness or disorder) for factors that appear to be common within them. These factors are subjected to statistical analysis to determine the likelihood and the significance of the observed tendencies. Findings from these processes over the ages have been applied in the design of prevention programs and in the determination of populations that can be singled out for indicated intervention programs.

Mental health risks factors are those issues that increase the chances of someone coming down with a mental disorder. For instance, an individual who takes cannabis (Marijuana) in any form is increasing his/her likelihood of developing a mental illness. While it isn’t all individuals who have taken cannabis (smoking or consuming it in other forms) that will become mentally ill, I have seen individuals who became mentally disturbed after just one episode of smoking cannabis. An individual who starts smoking cannabis before the age of 18 years is more likely to come down with serious mental illness than someone who starts smoking later in life. Also, an individual who has a family member with mental illness has a greater chance of becoming mentally ill after smoking cannabis compared to someone who doesn’t have a family member who has a mental illness. In addition to all these, the more frequent and the greater the amount of cannabis consumed increases the likelihood of becoming seriously mentally disturbed. Combining many of these factors further increases the likelihood of becoming mentally ill.

How do we minimize these risks in the New Year?

Being more mentally aware should be one of your goals this year. You need to be able to determine those issues that potentially increase your likelihood of breaking down with a mental illness.

While there are specific lifestyles that generally increase the likelihood of coming down with a mental illness, there are also some factors which you cannot do anything about. For instance, having a relative who has a mental illness cannot be changed. However, you can quit smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol. You can also avoid stress and engage in healthy relationships that are focused on resolving conflicts through constructive engagements at your workplace, rather than throwing tantrums or engaging in a “war of words” to make a point.

This year, endeavor to seek information, learn and act on what you have learned, about mental health. It will change your life. It could also change the life of someone close to you.

You can also stay connected to this blog for more information about mental health and wellness.

Stay safe and sane; help others do the same!





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Ola Ibigbami


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