The year 2020 has been a tough battle for our minds. The lockdown triggered by Coronavirus has taken us through an internal journey, where the mind has been impacted at varying dimensions. Yes, a lot of people in the world are dying due to the deadly virus. But, a lot of other people are also impacted due to depression and mental health issues invoked by the emerging situations. There has been an escalation in the levels of our fear, anxiety, isolation and adding to it are the parameters of “New Normal” which includes social distancing, wearing a mask, taking everything virtually, restrictions with respect to public mobility, appearances and travel. All of these has led to uncertainty and emotional distress and the struggle to contain the virus runs parallel to it.
Keeping the lockdown aside, the shape of the mental health scenario in the world was already disturbed, considering the fast paced ambitious life and the recurrent mental and physical abuse inflicted to suit up to the lifestyle. According to the 2018 report given by the World Health Organization (WHO), one death happens every 40 seconds due to suicide. This gives an annual count of more than 800,000 people that lose their lives by killing themselves.
World Mental Health Day has been celebrated every year on October 10, from the year 1992 as an annual activity managed by the World Federation for Mental Health which has the objective of promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public on relevant issues. The theme for the year 2020 is “Mental Health for All greater Investment – Greater Access” considering the present scenario with rising challenges.
Covid-19 has put our mental health on spotlight. Though, suffering from mental health issues is one thing and being able to access and treat it is another battle. Psychotherapy and Counseling become a very high-budget thing for some. But, the healing and productivity triggered by it, can increase the productivity of the person manifolds. So, Therapy for mental health advocacy and nurturing the mental health of the psychologically ill is a must.
But, the main challenge is the stigma attached to mental health in countries like India. Though, the situation is improving and the barriers penetrating the rigid mindset are breaking, a lot needs to be cleared up to build a positive atmosphere to nurture mental health. Awareness is a most important factor, to accept and acknowledge mental health as the priority and to accept it as an ailment equivalent to physical health and to give the breather that the people suffering from psychological disturbance need. This World Mental Health Day, let’s take a pledge to nurture our own mental health, and to give the support that is required for others to build their psychological well-being.
–Author: Hetvi Vashi