Mental health awareness In India

Mental health is a major concern worldwide. Mental illness affects a person’s cognitive process and slowly develops insecurity,low self esteem and low confidence; ignoring mental health is a major default in our society. We simply cannot treat anxiety and depression like cold and cough, these are not mood swings they are serious issues and can develope sucidal tendency in a person suffering from it. Suicide is the leading cause of death among those aged 15–29 in India. Mental illness has been tabooed in a country like India, where families feel ashamed to visit therapists and psychiatrist; in many cases the person themselve deny to have suffer from it. It is not something one is to feel ashamed of.A study conducted by the Word Health Organization in 2015 shows that one in five Indians may suffer from depression in their lifetime i.e. equivalent to 200 million people. More than 50 million people in India suffer from a mental illness. In 2011, India recorded the highest rate of major depression in the world at 36 per cent. According to doctors, roughly 10 per centof India’s population suffers from depression. Due to stigma attached to mental illness there is a lack of awareness and limited acess to professional health by they suferrer.
Progress in mental health service delivery has been slow in most low- and middle-income countries. There are mental health campaigns that spread awareness among people. One basic belief people has that it is a communicable illness- it is not; touching a depressed person won’t give anyone depression rather staying with such people and being supportive might help bringing them out of depression. Lack of knowledge about the mental illnesses poses a challenge to the mental health care delivery system therefore inorder to make people aware f mental health it has to be sensitized to the family members of the suferrer.Awareness and health literacy are two sides of the same coin. Stigma and discrimination are negative consequences of ignorance and misinformation. In a study it was seen mental health awareness to be very low among adolescent; depression was identified by around 29% while schizophrenia or other cognitive dissonance was identified by only 1% and stigma was noted in seeking help.Mental health literacy is a related concept which is increasingly seen as an important measure of the awareness and knowledge of mental health disorders.
A year or two back Indian actress Deepika Padukone had revealed that at one point in her career too she suffered from depression and anxiety. It was indeed a bold step taken by her to spread awareness among the people especially when she was at the peak of her career. Not only her there is a need for more and more to come up and talk about mental illness. Most importantly people need to identify/ recognize psychological distress after that only can they believe in taking professional help.The impact of stigma has led to the institution of various programs worldwide to challenge the stereotypes and discrimination that generate social disability. Mental health awareness programs are one such example that has favorable impact and can bring a change in people’s point of view.

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