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Staying mentally healthy

The Editorial covers GS paper 2 [Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.]

Trinity Counselors Share Advice and Ideas for Mental Health Staying at Home  | TrinityRocks

Context

  • Mental health and its deterioration has been a troubling aspect for many people around the world. 

  • There has lately been a lot of conversation around self-harm and suicide since they are now being acknowledged as legitimate outcomes of mental health crisis. 

  • Doctors insist that suicide is preventable, and one simply needs a lot of self-awareness and basic knowledge in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and secure.

 

What do we understand by ‘mental health’?

  • The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

  • The absence of mental disorder does not necessarily mean the presence of good mental health. 

  • People living with mental disorder can also achieve good levels of wellbeing – living a satisfying, meaningful, contributing life within the constraints of painful, distressing, or debilitating symptoms.

 

What are reasons for rise in the cases of mental health?

  • Changing lifestyle patterns:

    • In last two decades there have been so many changes in lifestyle. 

    • There have been advances in information technology; the global virtual mobility has become much easier. 

    • In this period there has been more virtual communication and person to person communication has been going down which leads towards the mental illness.

  • Social stigma and discrimination: 

    • People do not accept the fact that that they are suffering from mental illness. 

    • This mindset helps aggravate the health issues related to mental distress.

  • Career driven mindset of parents: 

    • Parents see unfulfilled dreams of them into the eyes of their children.

    • Hence they push children to achieve the desired goals of them without taking in to the consideration the will of their children. 

    • This leads to the mental health issues in many students. 

    • This could be the one of the reason for India having the highest number of suicides among youth.

  • Extensive use of smartphones: 

    • Extensive use of mobile phones affects the sleep pattern of person which indirectly leads to the mental stress. 

    • Younger generation is mostly the victim of this.

  • Demographic Determinants: 

    • Gender inequality, racial, regional and ethnic discrimination etc could lead to the mental health problems.

  • Environmental Determinants: 

    • Natural hazards, industrial disasters, armed conflict, displacement, and disasters triggered by ecosystem hazards due to climate change or increased population results into the mental health problems.

What needs to be done?

  • Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve the state of mind and outlook on life.

  • Taking care of self physically can improve one’s mental health.

  • Eating nutritious meals, avoiding cigarettes, drinking plenty of water will help decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods.

  • Individuals themselves should Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs.

  • Policies to reduce alcohol and drug consumption.

  • By providing affordable as well as easily accessible services like psychiatry by governments and providing basic health care facilities at the door step.

  • There should be proper training of persons who treat and handle the patients and take care of mental health patients. e.g. How to interact and communicate with mentally ill patients etc.

  • There is need to enhance the availability and distribution of skilled human resources for mental health to reduce the treatment gap.

  • Actions to support mental health among children and adolescents.

  • Promoting interventions which prolong and/or improve older people’s social activities, life satisfaction, and quality of life can significantly reduce depressive symptoms and protect against risk factors, such as social isolation.

Conclusion

  • The biggest problem today is that the discovery of mental illness is often followed by denial and hesitations to seek help. 

  • Despite its enormous social burden, mental health today remains a taboo, stigma, prejudice and fears. 

  • So there is a need to educate people about the reality that the mental illness is more common than the people realises. 

  • It is the society’s responsibility to make people aware of the mental illness and get people more talking about it.


 
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