As humans, emotions are an integral part of our lives and also the basis of our mental health. But how many of us are actually aware of our mental health and well-being? How many of us are actually accepting of it? Even in the twenty-first century, the stigma against mental health remains unchanged. According to the studies of 2017 over 792 million people were suffering from mental health disorders. This in 2021 has increased to over 1.027 billion people. Even after these shocking numbers, it’s bizarre how we still acknowledge the prejudice towards the people suffering. This becomes the reason why people prefer to suffer in silence. It’s extremely disturbing and heartbreaking to know how millions of people disregard their illness in name of exaggeration when the actual issue lies in the lack of awareness among people.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
Mental health is the state of emotional, social, psychological, and behavioral well-being wherein a person feels safe and comfortable to cope up with regular or everyday stress. It is something that affects our day-to-day routines, moods, and decisions. It is equally important to our physical health but is way less acknowledged and paid attention to. Most of us are not even aware of what we go through. When a person feels physically down, they are always advised to see a doctor however when a person is mentally down instead of advising them to see a specialist, their emotions are often disregarded and shrouded.
Mental health can be both good as well as bad. Each one of us goes through our own set of experiences that may have a lasting impact on us. Good mental health is the one where one might feel stress however is able to cope up with it. Whereas a person with bad mental health may take much longer to cope up which may lead to illness. Over time sadness, bad experiences, and even bad physical health may lead to bad mental health which needs assistance. Sadness that lasts over two weeks is classified as depression and most people still remain unaware of this. If somebody goes through a bad experience sometimes the trauma continues which may lead to post-trauma stress disorder.
Our brain is so meticulous and complicated that so many emotions, feelings, and thoughts could overwhelm us. It is not visible but hurt a person from inside. Mental illness is equally painful as physical illness and is equally important.
WHY IS RAISING AWARENESS IMPORTANT?
Raising mental health awareness has become an absolute necessity now considering that over 1 billion people are affected by it. What people don’t understand is that mental health issues can literally break a human from the inside, make them feel worthless, and shatter their happiness to the core. Sometimes to an extent where one might feel to end their lives. Being human, it is our responsibility to avoid all the negativity come to us . We should understand how we can help our fellow mates rather than discouraging them to open up.
Not raising awareness on mental health can have serious effects considering the increase in population. If people are not aware of their mental state. They believe they can be helped the rates of suicides would never fall down. As we know that the numbers and stats are definitely not in our favor. We lose one individual every 40 seconds to a suicide. As a society, it becomes our moral ground to help people suffering from this. It is not possible until each one of us is fairly aware of what goes inside our heads.
Awareness,not only help people but can be a ground for future observations and discovery leading to the betterment and happier life. It will be a realization for people that others suffering from and are not faking it. They will start treating it as an actual illness to which treatment can be sought.
HOW PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING FROM MENTAL ILLNESS
As per the reports of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2019 more than 703,000 people die from suicide. It is equivalent to losing a person every forty seconds which has increased to losing one person every 20 seconds in 2020. It is the fourth most common reason for death among people between the age of 15-19. The intrusive thought of losing a person at such tender age shows how mental health disorders can occur to anyone and how important it is for us to be aware of what to do in such situations. For people to take such a huge step buries under the complexity and issues that they go through, which remains unresolvable in their eyes.
In the last four decades, there has been a hike in suicide rates by 60%. Whilst more than seven lakh people lose their lives to it, more than three times of this number are attempts of suicide. Millions of people willing to lose their life truly signify how bad their mental health must have been and how helpless they must have felt. More than 30% of the total death due to suicide occur in India and China. Fact says more than 90% of suicides occur due to underlying depression. It is also shocking to see how suicide amongst youth is increasing at the greatest rates whereas the growth coping mechanism does not look very promising.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
It found out that most people refrain to talk about their mental health. Even to their families and friends from the fear of being judged. They are afraid of finding no support from them and choose to suffer in silence. If we really have the urge to make a difference it should be our aim to be more open and accept that it’s okay to be vulnerable. Rather than judging someone, understanding and accepting should be the way to process. It is fear of being ridicule why people not open up about their struggles. From a young age, people face bullying and believe that sharing their struggles would instigate that again. To make a difference we need to be kind and supportive of each other and take people seriously when they open up about their struggles.
To raise awareness about mental health we must talk about our experiences to others. We need to communicate to make a supportive environment where people feel encouraged to share their experiences. We need to create a society where we must validate people’s thoughts and issues. They should be delicately handled instead of proclaiming what they are doing for attention. We need to run campaigns and use every platform to talk about mental health and normalize it rather than stigmatizing it. Schools should teach to raise awareness among children. There should be seminars for parents to help them validate their emotions for healthier mental well-being.
Mental health as a taboo
All of this should be an eye-opener for us. It should be a realization that it is high time we stop treating mental health as a taboo and start normalizing it. It’s time we stop being mean and start being kind, stop being a bully, and start being a friend. It’s time we start being accepting and supporting each other. We have to stop trying to fix each other and try to listen and acknowledge the pain of each other. We must stop associating mental illness to being crazy or retarded. It should be treated like a regular illness that can be cured with the assistance of specialists. Each one of us needs to understand that the physical health of a person can affect a person’s mental health and vice versa. Therefore, it’s extremely important to be well-aware and try to simultaneously maintain both.