By- Sayak Karmakar
“Just take a day off, or listen to your favourite music, you will be alright!!!” A clichéd response which people tend to hear when they lay bare a stirred mind– “I am not feeling well mentally” or “I am not in the right state of mind.” This is the deplorable yet true scenario of mental health in our country.
Distressingly, the majority of people in our country are oblivious to unstable mental health and its ramifications.
According to the survey of Economic Times, 7.5 per cent of our total population suffers from mental or emotional disturbances in life, which roughly amounts to 98 lakh people living in our country.
The same survey reveals shocking statistics that only 4000 experts in our country today specialize in treating these 98 lakhs people.
According to the reports of The Diplomat, there are roughly 150 million people in India who require medical or therapeutic assistance for ailing mental health.
However, as per the same report, if all the patients are given treatment simultaneously, the proposed budget per patient will be equal to 33 paise in Indian currency.
Shocking??? Sad?? Weird?? You can be bewildered, but it’s an open fact with glaring statistics. So why is mental health not given preference in our country? How important is it in today’s scenario? How can we increase awareness?
And last but the most critical factor- how can we give proper medical assistance to this large section of people, so that they can lead a healthy life again?? For this, let us understand why mental health is important.
Mental Health and Its Importance
A person can be recognized as having sound mental health when he or she behaves and thinks positively. The person has control over the decision-making process, and failures and success do not affect the guy in an adverse way. The ultimate goal of a human being is to live a life of utter satisfaction.
Satisfaction lies in the happiness of the individual. However, happiness should be innately built with a satisfactory quotient coming from emotional, mental, and financial wellness.
The combination of all the aspects mentioned above makes a human being mentally healthy. However, the problem starts when people start finding the pursuit of contentment.
Any disturbances in terms of money, family, love, friendship, gender identity, studies, or organizational recognition can have an unpropitious effect in the mind of the individual. These disturbances ruin the balance of the mind, and the person starts falling into the dark life of depression.
Depression wrecks the meaning of life from a person who ultimately decides to isolate him/her from the world. Prolonged isolation is hazardous as it may lead the person to take the most vulnerable decision of ending life. Therefore, mental health needs to be taken in an earnest account.
Why People Suffer from More Mental Health Pressure These Days?
First of all, we should understand that the statement mentioned above might be factually correct, but it may digress from reality. People in the past had less access to public communication, and there was not any concept of social media.
So, it might always be that people were falling into depression in earlier days as well. There were fewer statisticians just as today we have a scarcity of mental health experts. However, the modern world wants a human being to be dynamic personally as well as professionally.
The person needs to best in school, in college, in organizational set-up, must be charming, must party, have loads of extracurricular activities, and be the cool dude or hot girl in the society- by not offending the societal norms and the parent’s respect. While many of the people are capable of doing so, several others might lack one or two qualities.
Unfortunately, society does not look at that person with great respect, and the process of isolation starts gathering pace ending with the person’s ruinous state of mind. India is a country with loads of talent. However, it is the same country where talent does not meet the opportunity.
Sadly enough, the monstrous prevalence of corruption, nepotism, and favouritism in every field of living makes the life of the person extremely sorrowful. There are plenty of individuals who are not mentally strong to take the never-ending hardship of life, thereby going into a mental trauma.
Lastly, as very few people are aware of mental health in our country, it remains a taboo. People suffering from the trauma are hesitant to speak up to people as most of us will label them “Pagal” (insane).
The prejudice creeps the fear of ignorance in the mind of the individual who, instead of getting help, gets into the zone of irreversible trauma. All these factors make mental health more prevalent and a serious issue in our country.
How to Spread the Awareness?
The best way to spread awareness is to support. Moreover, the support must first come from the family. The child, irrespective of gender, gender choice, height, weight, skin colour, and IQ level, should be treated with the same love.
Also, the family must teach their child that not being emotionally well is quite a normal thing. One doesn’t need to fear it and go into isolation mode. One must speak to the family to get the right solution.
Psychology as a subject must be introduced in primary and secondary schools in India. It still amazes me that Psychology is still a subject for higher education in our country, with only negligible private schools taking it up as a serious subject to study.
Every school and college should have a pool of counsellors who can always be available to a student at the time of need. The most prominent role has to be played by the government.
More funds should be given to training and building more professional counsellors and psychiatrists. The number of mental health experts should double itself every year. This is the only practical way to treat people with mental illness.
Mental Health is serious, and it matters the most in today’s generation. It’s high time we make people realize the importance of mental health and stop ridiculing it.