To quote John Green, “there is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t”.
Every year on October 10, World Mental Health Day is commemorated with the overarching goals of increasing awareness of mental health concerns worldwide and organizing support for mental health. Our emotional well-being is as important as our physical care. Maintaining our thoughts in good shape and strength is equally important to maintaining our bodies and clothes in good shape.
Shedding light on specifically India in terms of statistics related to mental health, WHO states that 7.5% of Indians are thought to have a mental ailment, and by the end of this year, 20% of Indians are expected to have mental illnesses. The statistics show that 38 million Indians and 56 million Indians, respectively, suffer from anxiety problems.WHO also states that India’s mental health workforce falls short of international standards, and there is a severe dearth of psychiatrists and psychologists in the nation relative to the number of people experiencing mental health problems. According to the WHO, the ideal ratio is anything above 3 psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 people. In India, there are 0.3 psychiatrists, 0.12 nurses, 0.07 psychologists, and 0.07 social workers. In other words, one would find these numbers to be extremely appalling.
So how can we tackle this issue and eradicate the stigma revolving around the issue of mental health which is so prevalent in a country such as ours? India’s mental health crisis necessitates proactive policy changes and resource allocation on the part of the government. We must take steps to educate and sensitize the community and society in order to lessen the stigma associated with mental health. This is only possible if there is a sustained national effort to educate the public about mental illnesses. We also need to take steps to create a peer network among the patients so they can talk to and support one another. In addition, people with mental health issues ought to have the same access to secure and efficient care as people with physical health issues. People will be able to view mental illness through the same lens as do physical disorders as a result of this. Apart from this, there are also spiritual training programs which can help in the rejuvenating of the mind.
Every year, about 200,000 Indians take their lives. Upon noticing this tragedy, one man, namely Hitesh Chakraworty, set out to contribute to the betterment of the society through his spiritual training programs. A person who in the past had already been healed spiritually, Hitesh aims to connect over 100,000 people from different parts of the country in five years who could mentally heal and support each other. In this program, people will receive training to identify and treat the underlying causes of whatever issues an individual may be experiencing, whether they are mental, physical, or spiritual. He hopes that the undertaking of this initiative would eradicate the stigma around mental health in our country and lead to the amelioration of the society.