“I first realised that I had a mental health problem when I wanted to stop doing all the things I was doing in my daily life but I couldn’t seem to stop no matter how much I wanted to.”
“I realised that I needed help when I had a sudden nervous breakdown at the airport. I was going to Paris with my family. I used to work 20 hours a day and that had become my bubble. I got a nervous breakdown because I was not sure how to deal with anything beyond work”
“The most difficult thing about having a mental health illness is that people think that you’re absolutely fine because it has very rare physical side effects”
“Having Schizophrenia, I never knew what was real and what was just a hallucination.”
These are the words of people who have suffered through a mental health problem. World mental health day is celebrated on 10th October every year, organised by the World Federation for Mental Health. This marked day in our calendars is to raise awareness of mental health issues and ways to address them. Click here to read the history of mental health day. The theme for Mental health day, 2021, is “Mental Health in an Unequal World”.
THEME OF WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2021
The theme of World Mental Health day 2021 “Mental Health in an Unequal World” stresses the increasing severity of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health. Due to loss of income, especially in poor households, expenditure on Mental health checkups has degraded. According to Psychologists, this can affect effect the Suicide rate trends all over the world. A study showed an increased frequency of suicide and self-harm cases in Nepal, especially during the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic(source:https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0250706 ). Due to the current situation, there is an urgent need to spread more awareness on free mental health help services and helplines all over the world, making this years’ theme highly pivotal.
Mental health, in many parts of the world, is not considered as a health issue, but something more as a ‘temporary weak phase’ or ‘just exhaustion’ until it reaches the final stage, and the effects of the same are visible to the people around them. It is our mental state of mind that helps us perform our daily tasks, things we do on some special days, making the minutest to the biggest decisions in life and the way you spoke to your best friend last night. Before one goes on to think that mental health is just a synonym for mood swings; mental health not only includes the state of emotions, but also the inability to express their emotions and feelings most rationally and maturely.
WHO IS A MENTALLY HEALTHY PERSON?
According to mentalhealth.org.uk, a person with good mental health has the following characteristics:
- Ability to learn, understand and execute.
- Ability to feel, express, accept and manage positive and negative emotions.
- Ability to form and maintain good relationships with others.
- Ability to think positive about themselves and others.
- Ability to cope with stress and change efficiently.
WORDS WE SHOULD STOP USING
Using words like ‘lunatic’, ‘dumb”,” crazy”, ‘insane’, ‘stupid’, ‘paagal’, ‘duffer’, accounts for ableist behaviour. Ableist in simple terms is discriminatory behaviour against people with disabilities. It refers to someone who believes in the superiority of persons without disabilities. Therefore, even if the person you’re referring to through these words is mentally and physically able, you are disrespecting those who are suffering from mental illnesses. These terms trigger those who have mental health issues. It is essential to choose your words wisely.
HOW TO TALK TO SOMEONE SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL ILLNESS
“I don’t want people to tiptoe around me.”
“Please stop second-guessing my feelings.”
These are some tips for people who are suffering from a mental illness. It is important to be sensitive around such people to avoid triggering them. Click here to read how to support them.
HOW TELEVISION AND OTT PLATFORMS TAKE A TOLL ON OUR MENTAL HEALTH
Research says that our brain is not wired to differentiate between real-life relationships and those represented on television or in books (source: Healthline). Therefore, depending on the nature of the show, it can have a tremendous effect on our way of perceiving the world, the people around us and ourselves, depending on person to person. Watching shows like “Crime patrol” daily can negatively impact your thinking, while watching the movie, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” may have a positive effect on the viewer’s thinking.
It is 2021, and we are living in a world where stigma against Mental health still exists. We believe that it is high time for schools to educate their students on the importance of mental health and its normalcy. It is time to change our mindset and stop taking mental health casually but to raise its awareness. Always remember, it’s never too late to ask for help.
For information on free telephone counselling services in India, click here.