Prioritising Mental Health - Eastern Mirror
Monday, February 06, 2023

Prioritising Mental Health

By The Editorial Team Updated: Oct 12, 2021 10:41 pm

Mental fitness was often ignored and still is despite the important role it plays in improving quality of life. It has been overshadowed by physical fitness for decades though it is equally important and the two are deeply interconnected. The fact that World Mental Health Day was first celebrated only in 1992 (on October 10) indicates that it was neglected for a very long time. Of late, there has been increasing acknowledgement of the importance for mental fitness with change of lifestyle, rapid social change, work stress, discrimination, increasing competition, etc., pushing many people to the edge, even to the extent of taking extreme steps. Mental health, according to the World Health Organisation, is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities but a state of well-being in which an individual realises one’s abilities, can cope with normal stress, can work productively and contributes to community. Anybody, irrespective of gender or status can suffer from mental illness. People with mental illness can be the strongest ones. There are numerous celebrities and famous personalities like Angelina Jolie, Deepika Padukone, Miley Cyrus, Priyanka Chopra, Tyson Fury, etc. who have spoken up about going through mental health issues. It is not an uncommon issue but not a topic that people commonly talk about, which doesn’t help in solving this ever-increasing issue. While so much has been talked about the need to maintain physical fitness to fight the coronavirus ever since it broke out last year, which was a good and encouraging approach, the failure to address mental health problems faced by millions of people during the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns was evident as hypertension is said to be one of the top underlying diseases amongst Covid deaths.

Despite progress being seen in some countries, many societies still see mental illness as a form of weakness. Those facing mental issues are not willing to open up because of the discrimination and stigma associated with it. This has to be done away with, the sooner the better. It can take a huge toll if it is neglected for too long and help is not sought. While some mental health issues like mild depression, anxiety, stress, etc. can be relieved with support from family, friends and self-care, some cases need medical help. People should not hesitate to seek help from medical professionals if they feel the need to do so. Community support can help many overcome mental illness. Government also should make efforts to provide quality mental healthcare and treatment to those needing help besides creating awareness and curbing stigma, especially in rural areas. This will boost quality of life, physical health and productivity of citizens.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Oct 12, 2021 10:41:01 pm