Every year on the 10th of October we observe the World Mental Health Day. This day holds a lot of importance especially in the present scenario wherein mental health has become an equally important problem as physical health and sometimes even bigger. Mental health issues like depression, stress, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. have taken over society. Moreover, another important factor that is being ignored is the that there is very little done in terms of the treatment or management of the mental health issues faced by our country, in fact, across the globe. Work-Related Stress? How Alternative Healing Therapies Can Improve Mental Health.
The number of health experts like the psychologists and therapists in our country is way less than the number of patients present. Statistics made by WHO are shocking, they estimate that the burden of mental health problems in India is immense. They believe that the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 population is 21.1 and, 'It is estimated that, in India, the economic loss, due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is 1.03 trillions of 2010 dollars. Mental health workforce in India (per 100,000 population) include psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07).'
Significance: Why Is the World Mental Health Day Celebrated?
Since the global burden of Mental Health only seems to be increasing, it is essential that one day of the year is dedicated entirely to generating awareness of various mental health issues. It is just the awareness of such problems that will help the society diagnose the issue at the earliest and take help from the specialist as soon as possible to curb the excess damage.
What is the theme of the World Mental Health Day 2018?
It is observed that one of the worst targets of Mental health problems/Disorders is the adolescents and the youth of the world. Therefore, with excessive scrutiny and thoughts, it has been decided that the year's theme is, 'YOUNG PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH IN A CHANGING WORLD.' The WHO describes the theme by stating a lot of the problem that is getting ignored is among the youngsters. According to WHO, 'Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.'
What steps need to be taken to address the mental health issue in countries like India?
India is a country that still fights the burden of the stigma related to mental health. The first and foremost step that a country like ours must take is to address the subject of mental health simultaneously generating awareness and defeat the stigma attached to mental health. It is vital that we understand that mental health holds equal importance and addressing it sooner is only going to benefit us. Understanding that mental health issues are real and a lot of time go unnoticed, is the real challenge. The shortage of health experts in the field of mental health is another hurdle that our country needs to overcome. New Laws on Mental Health in India: Everything You Want to Know About It!
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In conclusion, I believe that no amount of steps taken by the government or organisation is going to help if we as an individual take it upon us to at least help people around us. Communication is the key, and it is important to not trivialise a constant or sudden change in somebody's behaviour around us as craziness. Workplace and institutions need to take steps as well to also cater to the mental health needs of the employees. A lot needs to be done, and it is only we the people who are going to do it.