World Mental Health Day: Be Kind to Yourself & Others
"Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” – Noam Shpancer, Psychologist
World Mental Health Day was first observed by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992. The objective behind observing this day is to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilize efforts in its support.
The theme this year is ‘Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority’. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that this day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work and also what more can be done.
WHO has developed a “Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2030″ to improve mental health by strengthening effective leadership and governance.
The member states of WHO through the plan aims to provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive community-based care.
Further, the plan includes implementation of promotion and prevention strategies by strengthening information systems.
WHO has also noted that the covid-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, fueling short and long-term stresses.
Express, Don’t Suppress
Emotions are a normal part of our everyday lives and everyone experiences them. Though, for some people, feeling these emotions can become overwhelming. Over time, it can negatively impact one’s personal well-being and relationships.
Mental health conditions include mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities as well as other mental states associated with significant distress, impairment in functioning and even risk of self-harm. Approximately 280 million people in the world have depression.
Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
Every year 7,00,000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries.
Globally, suicide is the 4th leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. Hence, reaching out for medical help and care becomes an essential part of resolving mental health conditions.
Balancing the mind with spiritual enquiry
The 2011 census in India has observed that around 15.05 lakh Indians were facing some sort of mental illness. As India holds a culture of spiritual enquiry, time to time efforts have been made by both private organizations and government to raise awareness about the issue.
Recently, an international conference on consciousness with the theme, “Exploring Consciousness- From Non- Locality to Non- Duality: The Man- Machine Debate” was organized.
The conference was organized by India Foundation and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) with the support of the Ministry of Ayush.
The conference brought together eminent researchers and inventors in the areas of biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence as well as scholars and spiritual teachers of the major Indic Spiritual and psychological disciplines.
NIMHANS is an institute of national importance. It holds the vision to be a world leader in the area of neuro health and neurosciences.
Sowing the seed of mental health in schools
It is better to not let the issue trouble the future of our societies. If students can learn to manage emotions at a young age then adverse consequences can be avoided.
It is noted by various researchers that the increase of stress affects the frontal lobe and executive functioning of the brain which makes students less attentive and decreases cognition.
Recognizing the need to work for the same world leaders and the Indian government too have taken cognizance of the fact that schools need to adopt holistic and experiential learning practices.
“Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” – Noam Shpancer, Psychologist