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We need more openness and conversations surrounding mental health

File photo. Photograph:( DNA )

Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 10, 2019, 05.42 PM (IST) Written By: Aditi Gautam

Mental illness, like any other disease, does not discriminate. It affects all age groups, children, youth, elderly people. Even rich and famous are not immune to depression and loneliness.

As per WHO figures, 8 lakh people end up committing suicide every year. It is found that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in India,

World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that more than 300 million people suffer from depression across the world. The report also emphasised the need for more investment in mental health care.

Social isolation, due to a change in lifestyle or other unforeseen circumstances, can severely impact mental well-being. A strong need, therefore, exists to motivate and counsel affected people to have meaningful social relationships. 

The National Mental Health Survey, 2016, conducted across 12 Indian states, has stated that 150 million persons are in need of mental health interventions and care.

Also, it is a matter of concern that India lacks a sufficient number of mental health professionals. More trained psychiatrists and psychologists are required at government health care centres across the country to meet WHO prescribed norms. 

Government, people and organisations are finally discussing ways to deal with mental illness.

In India, people are now willing to reach out, both to be heard and to lend an ear. Lending moral support to the general public, even celebrities are coming out with their experiences in order to create awareness about mental health.

Internet, mobile apps should be used to create awareness and provide help to people who want to be anonymous while reaching out for assistance and information.

To go further, focused programmes should be developed for suicide prevention, anxiety and stress reduction, both on the national level and in every state.

Mental health remains a taboo in India, and thus, support groups, NGOs, family and friends should motivate people to share their mental health issues openly and confidently.

According to the data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), every hour, one student commits suicide. Like all of us, children too find it difficult to overcome negative emotions, stress and depression. 

Delhi government has launched 'Happiness Curriculum' for students of nursery to class 8. 

The curriculum introduced by the Delhi government would play an important role in improving physical and mental well being of the children -motivating them to embrace positive behaviour and thinking. This would also help them face emotional setbacks and handle success in a more balanced way. 

Therefore, schools across the country should think about adopting the 'Happiness Curriculum'.


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

Aditi Gautam

Aditi Gautam is a News Editor with Wion Digital. She follows politics and current affairs.

Story highlights

Mental health remains a taboo in India, and thus, support groups, NGOs, family and friends should motivate people to share their mental health issues openly and confidently.