As the title suggests, this blog is about mental health and mental health awareness. This is of emotions, and they are so shimmering and vibrant my first blog, so it is going to be very
informative and fact-driven for the people to get a basic idea about this topic. Being a non-psychology student, I’ll share my journey and my personal experience in this field in the
upcoming blogs. But first, let’s talk about mental health in detail. Because I know, there are a lot of people in this world like me who do not belong to the field of psychology (academically)
and have no idea about it. Let us start with my story…
I stumbled upon this topic when I met a new friend. She introduced me to the term “mental health”. I used to think that I am an “educated” adult of the 21st century and I am aware of
what goes on around me. I wasn’t wrong, but I never realized that I had no idea about what is going on inside my own head and I never even bothered to take care of it or know a bit
more about it. This is when I asked her –
What is mental health?
Well, According to WHO,
Mental health is an integral and essential component of health. The WHO constitution states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity.” An important implication of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.
Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can make a
contribution to his or her community. Mental health is fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living, and enjoy life.
On this basis, the promotion, protection, and restoration of mental health can be regarded as a vital concern of individuals, communities, and societies throughout the world.
Common mental disorders include depression, which affects about 300 million, bipolar disorder, which affects about 60 million, dementia, which affects about 50 million, and
schizophrenia and other psychoses, which affects about 23 million people. Everything starts from us, from our mind, and yet we try to take care of everything around us,
outside of us, but never pay attention to the thing that’s inside our head, “our mind“. This is the reason “Mental Health Awareness” is getting some serious attention now. Physical
illnesses are mostly easy to identify because the symptoms are visible, whereas most people don’t know when they’re suffering from a mental illness. This is because of the absence of any
directly visible symptoms on the body. I’ll get deeper into this topic in the following section.
WHY Mental Health Awareness?
Why is mental health awareness so important after all?
I am using the references from WHO, again and again, to explain how important this issue is. A report from WHO says – One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or
neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and
disability worldwide.Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect
prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding.
Where there is no understanding, there is neglect.
Here are ten thought provoking facts about mental health and mental disorders, again from WHO.
Some people claim that these illnesses are not so prevalent in India and that you seldom come across a person who can tell you that they have a mental illness. Well, I have two
arguments. First, if you never found someone with a mental illness, it is not because of the absence of these disorders in India, it is because of the lack of awareness about it.
Secondly, read this statistic on mental health disorders in India.
A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that 7.5 percent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorder. Mental illnesses constitute one-sixth
of all health-related disorders and India accounted for nearly 15% of the global mental, neurological, and substance abuse disorder burden. The treatment gap, which is defined as
the prevalence of mental illnesses and the proportion of patients that get treatment, is over 70 percent. WHO also predicts that by 2020. 70 percent. WHO also predicts that by 2020.
Read more at:
I can provide more surprising and mind-boggling statistics about the presence and treatment of mental health disorders around the world, but let’s not make this blog data-driven and
focus on the main part. After the WHAT and WHY of mental health and it’s awareness, let us understand how people around the world are spreading awareness about this.
A lot of people are recognizing the effect of mental disorders on one’s personal health and are spreading awareness about it, which is a greattt thing! So, I’m gonna give some details
on the campaigns and movements that happened around the world regarding mental health and its awareness. Day! Every year,Did you guys know that October 10th is celebrated
as World Mental Health Day! Every year, a theme is decided for the celebration of this day and people all over the world working for the awareness of mental health work on one particular
aspect of mental health. I don’t know for sure but I guess the theme is decided by WHO. Last year’s theme was “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention“,
the previous year (2018), the theme was “Young people and mental health in a changing world“. This is the day when thousands of people fight against the stigma related to mental health
and support each other. In some countries, first week of October is also celebrated as mental health week.
It was established in The United States in 1990 due to the continuous efforts made by National Alliance on Mental Illness( NAMI- https://www.nami.org/ ).
Another such effort was made by Amy Bleuel.
Project Semicolon was founded by Amy Bleuel in 2013, as a tribute to her father, who died by suicide in 2003.
Bleuel lived in Wisconsin. After her parents divorced, Bleuel chose to live with her father and his second wife at the age of 6. Since then, Bleuel endured being physically abused by her
stepmother. At the age of 8, she was taken into state custody by a child protective service. Bleuel began self-harming and attempting to kill herself after she had been sexually abused at the
age of 10 and raped at 13. At the age of 18, Bleuel’s father died from suicide, and she was subsequently released from the system. In her early years in
college, Bleuel was raped twice and suffered a miscarriage. Bleuel suffered from alcoholism at the age of 30 and had five major suicidal attempts.
Project Semicolon explains that “a semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life. “