Friday, April 3, 2020

Taking Mental Health Seriously

I have written about mental health here before, but I know that many people downplay, ignore, and even stigmatize depression, anxiety, and other issues (including loneliness). I hope that this crisis makes us take these issues much more seriously in the future. There is so much suffering in the world that we could treat right now, and there is much research we could be doing if we took it seriously. To repeat my previous post (which also talked about taking physical pain seriously):

...Effective Altruists significantly overweight death and future pleasure and underweight current suffering. More importantly, though, society's Puritanical attitudes (especially in the U.S.) and racism / imperialism are causing loads of unnecessary suffering.

... I think taking mental health seriously (another area seriously harmed by "toughen up / man up" attitudes) and funding promising research should absolutely be an EA priority. This is a great piece on the topic by Marc Gunther. Sam Harris has done some good podcasts on the topic as well (e.g., his podcast with Michael Pollan).

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