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Mental Health Status of Seoul Citizens and Policy Tasks

Seong-Ah KimㆍJung-Ah Kim

This study aimed to produce basic data for improving mental health services in Seoul by identifying the current status of mental health of Seoul citizens and analyzing the characteristics of mental health and mental health problems according to the individual characteristics of Seoul citizens such as gender, life cycle, and socioeconomic level.

As a result of conducting a mental health survey on 2,149 Seoul citizens aged 19-74 years, it was confirmed that various mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, and insomnia were prevalent among the general public. More than half (52.5%) of the participants in the survey were found to have at least one mental health problem, and among the mental health problems, post-traumatic stress symptoms (33.8%) and depression (26.2%) ), followed by insomnia (19.0%). When examined by life cycle, the prevalence of all mental health problems investigated, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, insomnia, alcohol use disorder, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts, was the highest among young adults, and decreased in the order of middle-aged and elderly. Some risk factors for depression, a major mental health problem, were common by life cycle, but characteristic risk factors were classified by life cycle. In addition, major stress factors related to each life cycle and mental health problem also appeared to be different, confirming the need for customized responses for each life cycle and mental health problem.

As a result of in-depth interviews with the high-risk group for mental health, it was found that most of the subjects had low awareness of public mental health services or providers. Therefore, it was confirmed that the provision of information on mental health services and providers and the need for active publicity are very important, and various promotional channels such as TV, public transportation, and government websites have been proposed. It was found that many people want to use mental health services, but find it difficult to use them due to cost burden, geographical accessibility, and time constraints (not available at night or on weekends). Therefore, in order to improve mental health services, it is necessary to reduce the cost burden and improve geographical and temporal accessibility.

In this situation where the demand for mild depression and anxiety management for general citizens is increasing, the demand for mental health services is expanding to all citizens experiencing various mental health problems. Accordingly, in order to address the various mental health problems and demands of Seoul citizens, an expanded mental health service delivery system for all citizens is required beyond the traditional mental health service delivery system focused on patients with severe mental illness and high-risk groups. The Mental Health Welfare Center, which is the core delivery system of mental health services, focuses on managing severe mental illness and high-risk groups for suicide as before, and various health and welfare infrastructures and specialized institutions for each target are designed to manage general (mild) mental health problems experienced by the general public.