October 10 is World Mental Health Day. It is a day to raise public awareness about mental health issues. 

This year’s theme is “Investing in Mental Health.”


Mental Health Empowerment Symposium at New Delhi


Dr Indra Mohan, Consultant Psychiatrist at Melbourne writes: 


Dear friends,

I am writing this for the first time for my good friend and colleague. I’d like to thank Satendra for this opportunity.  


We are celebrating world mental health day on 10th October.  It’s a day for mental health awareness, education and advocacy.

It is but apt to write on this day for ‘Infinite Ability’ that in many ways urge us to harness our resources to achieve our potential.  It is in last couple of decades that mental health has attracted lot of attention and discussion. World Health Organization talks about mental health as an important part of our well-being. It’s us what makes us special and investing in our own mental health is what we tend to forget.


Stigma is one huge monster we face when it comes to mental health. Being open about own mental health problems and psychological difficulties remain and this prevents many sufferers to talk about it and seek timely, and appropriate help. We still find it hard to accept that we may suffer from depression or any other psychological problems but the truth is that these conditions are quite common and affects many in the community. Mental disorders are treatable and like many other chronic conditions it causes significant impact on life and burdens caregivers. So it is time that we acknowledge and accept them and seek help to prevent further decline and disability. We should attempt to have an open stance towards people who suffer from mental health issues rather than a preconceived notion of fear and helplessness.

Treatment for mental illnesses is readily available and affordable. However, we still continue to identify many untreated people who suffer in silence, sometimes in shame and confusion. It’s disappointing that the treatment rates of mental illness barely change. We should encourage people to come forward and identify someone whom they can talk about it and seek help.

Suicide is a common cause of death in young people and untreated mental illness could often lead to suicides. In India, thousands of students kill themselves each year. The numbers are rising alarmingly. Exams, parental pressure, family problems, peer pressure, comparisons are among many stressful life events and reasons for suicides. Helping people at the right time and supporting young people who often go through tumultuous times in education, career and employment might prevent adverse outcomes. Teachers play a pivotal role and supporting and mentoring young brains would help in developing a good community.

Investing on one’s own health is often neglected and finding the balance is essential. We should take our own mental health day and use that time to remember what is important and what more we can do to bring peace and satisfaction in life.

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough”-Rabindranath Tagore

Indra Mohan

   

 Department of Psychiatry, UCMS & GTBH celebrated the day by:

1. Newspaper release - Myths and misconceptions of mental illness Published in Dainik Jagaran on 11/10/2011, interview recorded on 10/10/2011 by hindi newspapers to create awareness among general public, to reduce the stigma .

2.Public lecture on common presentations of mental disorders in department of Psychiatry on 12/10/2011.

 3.Television interviews to create awareness about mental disorders  on 12/10/2011.

 4.CME for doctors on "Insomnia & Management" on 19th October,2011.

 

 
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