Public Health Awareness Week: Mental Health

By      07-Apr 2021       Reading Time: 5 Mins

Public Health Awareness Week: Mental Health

Mental health is associated with emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is all about how an individual think, feel, and act as we cope with life. Mental health is vital at every stage of life, for various good reasons. It is also important for physical health

About Mental Health:
India lacks the awareness and sensitivity about the issue of mental Health. There is a big taboo around people suffering from any kind of mental health issues. They are often called as ‘lunatics’ by the society. This takes to a vicious cycle of shame, suffering and isolation of the patients. Also, there is a inadequacy of mental healthcare workforce in India.

  • 7.5% of the Indian population suffered from mental disorders.
  • Mental illness constituted one sixth of the health disorders in India, which means that more than 13
    crore patients in India.
  • This number was nearly 15% of the global mental health and substance abuse disorder patients.
  • India had less than 4000 mental health professionals.
  • Times between 1990 to 2017, one in seven people from India have suffered from mental illness ranging from depression, anxiety to severe conditions such as schizophrenia.

Types of Mental Health Disorders:
Anxiety Disorders – Anxiety Disorders goes regular and beyond that includes generalised anxiety disorders, social phobias, specific phobias (for example, agoraphobia and claustrophobia), panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety disorders if goes untreated can lead to significant impairment on people’s daily lives.

Depression – Depression known as mood disorder characterised by lowering of mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy. It is not just feeling sad. There are different types or levels and symptoms of depression.  Such symptoms of depression can lead to increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviours

Schizophrenia Disorders – Schizophrenia disorder is often characterised by disruptions to thinking and emotions, and a distorted perception of reality. Symptoms of schizophrenia differ but may include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, social withdrawal, lack of motivation and impaired thinking and memory, which cause people with schizophrenia have a high risk of suicide.

Eating Disorders – Eating disorders which include anorexia, bulimia nervosa and other binge eating disorders. It affects females and males and can have serious psychological and physical consequences.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thoughts, mood, and behaviour could be affected. Various factors contribute to mental health problems, including: Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse, Family history of mental health problems, lifestyle, such as diet, physical activity, and substance use etc.

Boost Mental Health:

  • Eat a brain-healthy diet such as omega-3 rich foods to support strong mental health
  • Indulge in physical activity for at-least 30 mins
  • Do not skimp on sleep. Getting enough sleep is a necessity
  • Seek for professional help if needed

Over to you:
Time to time intervention, awareness about the issue, availability of professional help and appropriate policies is the only way to improve the situation. Thus, people with mental illness deserve to live their lives with dignity and confidence.


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