We are facing once in a lifetime situation which we need to tackle together and emerge as a whole. These tough times have shed light on more important things we had ignored more often in the past. One such thing is mental health. I am pretty much sure that many of us don’t even have a clear understanding of mental wellbeing. The fault is not entirely on us too and the social system too clearly has a major part in it.
We care a lot about physical health. We know pretty much what diet to follow, what food to eat and ones to avoid, we even know what workout to do for a particular output. When we flip and see the other side of the coin of health- mental health many people can’t even realize whether they are suffering from any problems. WHO reports suggest that about 7.5% of the Indian population may be suffering from mental disorders.
Why are we minnows on mental health?
When we analyze why we are weak when it comes to mental illness it boils down to many causes. The First thing is the lack of awareness if you recall how many of you had any class or counseling on stress or anxiety during your school or college days. Most of us believe we can thrive in the pressure like Dhoni but actually what we comfortably ignore is the fact that not everyone is Dhoni and some need help. It’s time we think past cracking exams and infuse life skills that help shape the youth of the nation.
A 2019 study made by Mental Health Research UK suggests that about 42.5% of corporate employees in India suffer from either depression or anxiety disorder. Many of them due to lack of awareness fall into the wrong hands of smoking or drinking to cope up with depression or stress.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), states that about 1,34,516 people made up their minds to give up their lives in the year 2018. Among them 10,159 were students is the most saddening part. Suicide is an act planned by a depressed mind that is confused about what to do. We could have helped them if we offered them help and guidance at the right time.
Second, in our society due to lack of awareness, many consider such issues as taboo and decide to suffer without seeking help. In some worse cases, they are prejudiced and some are criticized. We need to educate and help by supporting them as most of them are easily curable by simple therapies.
Even if we manage to create awareness, the elephant in the room is that we don’t have enough medical facilities to treat them. Reports say that India has only 1 psychiatrist for every 100,000 people. What’s even more disheartening is that India allocates only 0.05% of the health budget for mental health. As per WHO predictions and due to the prevailing pandemic conditions around 200 million Indians might be suffering from mental illness. So it's time we rectify our mistakes and start building resources as soon as possible to tackle this issue.
How to be mentally sound ?:
We, humans, are social beings and it is important we realize it. I mean if we have any problems we should not hesitate to speak out. We should share our thoughts and problems with our family or friends. Remember there is always someone to hear you out. This will help you release some burden on you. Many people can sort out their problems in this stage while others can seek professional help. The main problem is that we never consider the above-mentioned solution and get trapped with stress or depression.
As mentioned earlier it is essential to create awareness among everyone starting from children to elders on mental healthiness. Only through this step, people can identify that they are suffering so it is crucial. With today's technological advancements it is easier to get help. There are tons of online services like apps, sites, communities that can help you sort out simple problems.
One important thing that everyone should practice is balancing the right amount of positivity and negativity. Also try to pick up some hobbies as they help you achieve a relaxed state . Take responsibility for all your actions and remember it is okay to make mistakes. The mistake is not making mistakes rather it is not trying to rectify it. Know that every beginning has an end and every end has a new beginning. Always be in high spirits and be free to ask and offer help to those who need it. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. Let us battle together for a healthy future.
Helplines to reach out if you need any support:
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS)'s toll-free number 08046110007.
Mumbai-based mental health organization mPower and the government of Maharashtra and BMC: 1800-120-820050
Poddar Foundation and Rotary Club of Bombay: 1800-121-0980
People in Tamilnadu can dial 104 to reach Tamilnadu Health Helpline.
An Article by
Kathir Gowtham R.S