19 Ideas for Essays About Mental Health Topics

Do you need some ideas for writing essays about mental health topics? Here are 19 angles to get you started.

Mental health concerns are on the rise in America. According to Mental Health America, one out of every five people suffers from a mental health disorder or illness. Yet over half of the adults who need mental health treatment do not get it.

The efficacy of mental health diagnosis and treatment in America is open to debate, making a good starting point for engaging essays. If you are writing an essay on mental health, choosing the right prompt can help you develop a thought-provoking piece that people engage with.

From discussing the cause of mental illness to analyzing why mental health concerns are rising, these 19 ideas for essays about mental health topics will get you started.

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Essays About Mental Health Topics

1. What Are the Main Mental Health Risk Factors

According to Mayo Clinic, risk factors increase the likelihood of someone developing a particular disorder or problem, and mental health has risk factors just like physical health issues do. This essay topic could explore what those factors are.

After identifying these concerns, you could write about what a person could do to limit their risk. This explanation will help the reader take action to protect their mental health if they have underlying concerns that make a mental health condition more likely.

2. Why Are Mental Illnesses Seeing Increases in Numbers in Modern Times?

According to the World Health Organization, mental health issues are growing in modern society, but few have asked why. This question is difficult to answer because it varies. Sometimes, the added stress of everyday life contributes to mental health issues. Genetics can also be a cause. Society is becoming more aware of mental health disorders and open to talking about them, leading to people getting accurate diagnoses more quickly.

As you delve into the research on this essay topic, pick a few of these reasons to look at more closely. Build an essay around your study and the main reason or reasons you choose it.

3. Why Schools Need Mental Health Services

Mental health problems are not restricted to adults. Many children, including very young children, struggle with mental disorders. Ensuring that schools have mental health services, even at the elementary level, can help combat this growing trend.

This essay looks at why mental health problems in kids are on the rise. It then explores the role schools and teachers have to play in that. With the proper support, students can get diagnosed more quickly and start appropriate treatments.

4. What Are the Most Common Psychological Conditions?

The most common mental health conditions are depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Discussing these five problems, their causes and treatments work well for your essay.

When writing this essay, make sure to look at causes, prevalence, and treatment options. Discuss these mental health conditions carefully, so people reading the essay are encouraged to get help if they need it.

5. Are Anorexia or Bulimia Mental Health Disorders?

Essays About Mental Health: Are anorexia or bulimia mental health disorders?
Anorexia is a condition where a person does not eat to lose weight or have some control over an out-of-control situation

Eating disorders are sometimes classified as mental health concerns, and this topic can work well for a mental health essay. Anorexia is a condition where a person does not eat to lose weight or have some control over an out-of-control situation. Bulimia involves over-eating on food, often unhealthy, then forced vomiting to get the food out of the system. These are common issues, but are they mental health conditions? Answering this question with thorough research can set the stage for an engaging essay.

Once you decide whether or not eating disorders are mental health disorders, take some time to discuss treatment. You may have people reading your essay who suffer from these disorders or know someone who does, so give them the resources they need to get help.

6. What Are Biological Factors That Put Someone At Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Mental Health Concerns?

Are there specific biological factors that make someone more prone to mental health disorders? Does identifying these factors make it easier for someone to get help when they start suffering from a severe mental illness?

While not all mental health disorders have a biological cause, getting an accurate diagnosis for those that do helps people get appropriate treatment. Explore the link between these factors and the treatment of mental health disorders in your essay.

7. The Effects of Depression on Everyday Life

Depression is a common form of mental illness that affects many people, affecting over 18% of the population. This essay topic will discuss how depression impacts the daily life of someone who has the disorder. Are they able to function and hide their condition, or is it pronounced?

This discussion should clearly state that depression shows up differently for different people. It can be easy to hide from people, so friends and family are unaware and can’t encourage the depressed individual to get help. The essay could also discuss subtle signs of depression in adults and adolescents, so readers can watch for these signs and help their loved ones protect their emotional well-being.

8. How Does Poverty Affect Mental Health?

Does being poor make someone more prone to mental health illness? This essay must be steeped in research because you do not want to shame someone who has a difficult time in life. However, there is a connection between poverty and mental health issues, which could be an interesting angle for your essay.

After establishing the link, use your essay to discuss solutions to this problem. Are there social solutions limiting poverty or providing mental health treatment to impoverished populations to help with this trend?

9. Is Substance Abuse a Mental Health Condition?

Addiction is a severe problem that has long-lasting effects. Yet is it a mental health condition? Some would argue that it is, but some would say it is not. If it falls under the auspices of mental health care, it should have treatment just like other mental health conditions.

As you research this topic, you will find that people have a strong divide. You will need to choose a side and then use the body of your essay to defend that choice.

10. What Are The Symptoms of PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly discussed in today’s society as many soldiers are coming back from war suffering severe PTSD symptoms. Yet any trauma can cause PTSD. It does not have to be war-related to impact someone’s life strongly.

Your essay can look at the common symptoms of PTSD. It should explore both the apparent symptoms and the more subtle signs that someone is suffering from post-traumatic stress. It could also discuss what therapies are the most effective for this condition.

11. Can Low-Income Americans Get Good Psychological and Mental Health Care?

There seems to be a problem in America that limits low-income individuals from getting mental health treatment when they need it. This essay topic will look at this problem and present potential solutions to it.

This is a multifaceted problem. Sometimes, the issue is the lack of education in low-income populations that keep them from seeking psychiatric help. Sometimes it stems from a lack of insurance coverage for this problem among a low-income population. In your essay, discuss all sides of this issue to develop a potential solution.

12. What Is the Main Cause of Depression in Children?

A growing number of young children are dealing with depression. Parents and teachers who learn the signs can help these young people get mental health treatment early. This essay topic idea will explore some potential reasons for this increasing trend.

Remember that anyone, regardless of age, can struggle with depression. Finding the underlying cause is usually helpful in determining the best course of treatment. That is what this essay idea seeks to discover.

13. What Brain Disorders Are Most Common Today?

Brain disorders are disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and personality disorder that come from actual changes in the brain. Use your essay to discuss the most common brain disorders and their potential treatments through your research.

Brain disorders are a specialized area of psychiatry and mental health treatment. Because these problems involve changes to the structure and chemistry of the brain, they require a unique type of treatment. Your essay could discuss how people can seek appropriate treatment if they or a loved one suffers from a brain disorder.

14. How Well Is the Mental Health System Reaching People Who Need It?

This essay looks at the current structure to help people with mood disorders, depression, and other mental health concerns. Is access to care available to most people? Is the care sufficient? Does insurance cover enough treatment to provide an effective remedy?

These are difficult questions to answer and require some research, but they are also essential. This essay could help you explore why people aren’t getting the help they need.

15. Does Trauma or Substance Abuse Affect the Most People?

Both trauma and substance abuse are mental health disorders that affect a large percentage of the population, but which has the most impact? This essay will explore which of these two is the most impactful and why. Then, you could discuss the best course of treatment for the one you choose.

To write this essay, first, research the most impactful, then discuss why that may be.

16. What Factors Affect the Mental Health of Men/Women?

Men and women can face mental health concerns, but the factors that impact them will differ. Choose one population group, and explore what has the most significant impact on their mental health. Use that to create an engaging essay.

You could even discuss both and compare and contrast the differences. You may find a bit of overlap, but you should see some distinctions.

17. What Is the Impact of the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health?

Many people refuse to get mental health treatment because they fear the stigma. They feel that seeking treatment will leave them embarrassed and isolated, so they continue suffering from their medical condition for many years.

This essay could discuss what causes this stigma and why it makes people neglect the treatments they need. It could then talk about ways to lessen this stigma and make mental health treatment more available and accepted in modern society.

18. What Is the Impact of Social Media on Mental Health?

Social media use has had a significant impact on the number of people suffering from mental health conditions. This reality creates an exciting essay topic idea, as you can explore this link and the potential reasons. There are many ways you can approach this line of thought in your essay, including talking about possible solutions to the problem of social media and its impact on overall mental health.

Because social media will not go away anytime soon, consider options that allow people to continue using it while protecting their mental health. By creating awareness, your essay could help someone stop the struggle with self-image and mental health due to too much social media usage.

You might also be interested in our round-up of the best medical authors of all time.

19. Is America Suffering a Mental Health Crisis?

There is a marked increase in mental health concerns in America, but are we suffering a mental health crisis? The answer to this question could make for an interesting essay. Keep in mind that you will need to prove the opinion you choose, so do some careful research.

If you determine a mental health crisis, consider adding some information about what could be done to resolve it in your essay. This problem is complex, but solutions exist, so explore some of them.

We have other articles to support your essay writing, have a look at transition words for essays once you start building your argument.

  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.