Every year on October 10th, World Mental Health Day is commemorated to raise awareness of mental health concerns around the world and organize initiatives in support of mental health. While everybody can see the physicality of a wound on the body, the mental health of a person seems to be hidden in decoding messages and changes inhabits.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a condition of well-being in which an individual recognizes his or her abilities, can cope with typical life challenges, work efficiently, and contribute to the community (WHO).
One of the most neglected aspects of public health is mental health. Around 1 billion people suffer from mental disorders. The problem of mental health illnesses is exacerbated by social stigma, discrimination, and human rights violations against people with mental health conditions.
Seeking therapy or reaching out for help to someone from mental illness is often looked down upon and in some cases, people even refuse to acknowledge the presence of the illness. Hence, October 10th is marked as the day to talk freely about mental issues and eradicate the stigma surrounding them.
World Mental Health Day: Theme
The subject for the forthcoming World Mental Health Day 2021 on October 10 is “Mental Health in an Unequal World,” which emphasizes the urgent need to focus sufficiently on health beyond the physical in a sustained manner in a world currently fighting the coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated human development inequities, including a double whammy for mental health by increasing the incidence of mental diseases while also interrupting already scarce mental health facilities.
Correlation of Suicide and Mental Health
The correlation between the prevalence of mental disorders and suicides is worrying. Indians account for more than a quarter of all suicide deaths worldwide. Mental illnesses can sometimes have far-reaching implications, such as causing early death.
Let’s consider this example to understand the gravity of the situation- Every year, 3 million people die from the detrimental effects of alcohol while one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. India’s health budget is little, and the mental health budget is considerably smaller. This adds to the concerns regarding the resources for mental well-being in the country.
Initiatives are taken by UN and Indian Government
Due to the pandemic, a good amount of light reflected upon the mental issues of people. The issue was raised worldwide and everybody felt the need and importance of recovering the same. Few steps taken in this regard by the government and UN are:
- The United Nations created a toolkit to assist UN institutions in promoting mental health in the workplace and acknowledging the impact of an uneven world on everyone’s mental health during the month of October and beyond.
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released guidelines for prevention activities to address mental health issues caused by COVID-19. To address mental health concerns, the guidelines focus separately on the general public, those living with mental disorders, and healthcare providers.
- KIRAN, a national psychological and behavioral multilingual helpline, has also been established.
- The Manodarpan Initiative, which is part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, provides psychosocial support to students, their families, and instructors in order to assure their well-being.
Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health
- Make sure you get enough rest.
- Eat healthily.
- Avoid Alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
- Make sure you get lots of sunlight.
- Manage stress.
- Physical activity and exercise are important.
- Make an effort to do something you enjoy.
- Be sociable and connect with others.
- Take a break from time to time.
- Volunteering and assisting others.
- Talk about feelings and ask for help
Talking about mental health can be tricky but we all need to remember that we are human, and emotions and feelings can sometimes get too overwhelming and can have a deteriorating effect on us. Hence, reaching out will always prove to be fruitful and we might help others as well by doing so. Let’s continue to strive for healthy mental health and continue to fight the taboo around it.