It is time to seek help and break the taboo around Mental Health and Emotional Wellness.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama.
Needless to say, breaking any taboo or wanting any change does not start from any other place, or person, or time – but ourselves. Similar is the case with breaking the taboo regarding Mental Health in India.
The stigma and its significant challenges remain ever-prevalent in India and need our collective efforts. It is a primary cause that prevents many individuals from speaking openly, thus seeking the help they deserve.
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The concern is not resources’ availability and feasibility or even the willingness of an individual but the ‘basic’ acceptance of this ‘frightening cause’ in society. Acceptance of Mental Health and Emotional Wellness—an alarming disease that can spread across multiple layers of an individual’s psyche—should be the priority.
The general outlook is that any individual suffering from Mental Health issues is under some sort of Black Magic, Omens, Curse, and/ or any Supernatural Forces. It is primarily due to a lack of education and still-prevalent traditional beliefs. Its aftereffects are so severe that individuals who desperately need help with their Mental Health fail to understand the symptoms and seek proper help – in time or never (for worse).
There are also a lot of family and societal expectations that help in negatively altering the thinking of every individual in India, thereby, creating a sense of “What will people say?” or “What will people think?”
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Ideally, the first and foremost step in curing this mindset from the root level is to educate individuals that it is ‘completely’ and ‘perfectly’ okay to not be okay. It is ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ to seek help for Mental Health just like any physical ailment you might need.
Educating individuals about Mental Health is the only (first) step towards curing it and keeping emotional wellness in check.
Then comes the following:
Consciously raise awareness across workplaces and communities to educate everyone out there about the importance of Mental Health. In fact, starting with schools, catering to the issue at a younger age itself.
Normalise the concept by using proper words and tonality. Generally, the way it gets stereotyped in India is quite alarming.
Addressing the misconceptions towards Mental Health is also very crucial, especially, that it is not something to be looked down upon!
Coming together to be with the individual suffering or going through the treatment. It is a basic etiquette to show support and love towards one’s journey.
Celebrating success stories is definitely a great and unparalleled way to show your love. It also helps in encouraging others to seek help and support the cause.
Legalise policies to make it more mainstream like any other health care policies we have in the system.
Mental Health Clinics and centres to be more accessible, especially in rural places and students’ centric areas, is a must and the need of the hour.
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Support Groups are another priority we need to focus on. Internationally, such support groups act as mainstreams and are easily accessible with utmost trust and dignity with regular and punctual attendance.
In addition to the above, India still faces a lack and shortage of Mental Health professionals. With our population index, we need a lot more dedicated professionals, mainstream courses, NGOs, and dedicated policies if we are to take it seriously.
It is just as much of the governing bodies’ responsibility as it is of an individual wanting to get help. The pendulum is swinging both ways – equally.
Mental Health is a silent pandemic. And it is now or never. The number of hate crimes, violence, and slaughters happening across the globe is actually a twisted outlay of suppressed mental health issues erupting like active volcanoes. It is like a chain reaction, a black hole of sorts that is engulfing in it, everything that is coming closer.
Breaking the stigma starts with you.
It is no one else’s priority.
Only this way we all can tackle this wildfire – promptly.