10 October 2020, world mental health day comes in an unfortunate situation the whole world is facing, when the world is stuck with a virus that killed more than 1 million people on the planet. When our normal routines and day to day life is not normal anymore, when people are working from home for the last 7 months, where students are still at home, no physical contact with friends, no plays and no celebrations. World mental health day comes when youth are uncertain and anxious about their career and future, when many people are fighting for even food and shelter and for the basic rights. downfall of the economy and loss of jobs, uncertainty, and emotional distress cloud almost the entire global population.
During this hard time, “Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones,” says the WHO.
According to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) the theme for World Mental Health Day 2020 is ‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access’.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated the world is accepting the concept of universal health coverage and that mental health must be an integral part of UHC. “Nobody should be denied access to mental health care because she or he is poor or lives in a remote place,”
Here, read what students and professionals say about mental health:
“About 50 million people are affected by mental health problems in India. Although to cater to this huge number of people suffering from mental health issue we have only approximately 5000 mental health professionals. The theme for this world mental health day 2020 is “Mental Health for All”, which means that we need to adopt a task shifting model, wherein, in order to fill this gap of huge number of people suffering from mental health issues and less number of professionals, we use whoever is available in the community and train them to provide a range of health care interventions. The strategies to address mental healthcare need to rely on alternative human resources if the country is to meet more than a tiny fraction of the needs of people affected by mental health problems. So in order to implement “Mental Health for All” we need to involve all in this effort.”
Sumaiya Khan (Registered Clinical psychologist, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi)
“We need to keep reminding ourselves that no one expects perfection from us, but what counts is a mind that constantly strives to improve itself. Just as Alvin Toffler said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
Fedwa Nafeesa ( Post graduate student of Psychology, Pondicherry University)
“The official theme for World Mental Health Day 2020, chosen by the World Health Organisation this year is ‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment- Greater Access.’ So let’s join hands and come together. Let’s work together and invest to build a mentally healthy society. Let’s realize our responsibility and our duty towards our own self and other’s psychological well-being. It won’t take much time and effort. We all need to be a little more patient, more acceptable, a bit more tolerant and kinder towards ourselves and towards others.
There is a beauty in simplicity. We can do wonders for ours as well as other’s mental health, by simply “being there” for ourselves and others. Just by “listening to one another” we can lighten the burden they are carrying, maybe since long time. We can soften our tone, make use of kinder and more gentle words while interacting with not only others but also with ourselves. So let’s be more tolerant, more inclusive, more acceptable, and make the world a happy and kinder place to live. :)”
Aarushi Khan ( Student, MA Applied Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi)
“Covid 19 came. People suddenly started caring about their health. We realized only health matters not money and fame. Wait! Ever thought about the “mental” aspect in health. No, literally no one. People are way too far from the fact that mental health also matters. On this mental health day ,where covid 19 is making awareness about the importance of a healthy body, let’s too talk about, care about and think about our mental health.”
Sandra Suresh (Student , MSC Applied Psychology, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University)
“World Mental Health Day 2020 has arrived but Mental health is still a far fetched idea in India. According to NIMHANS, nearly 150 million Indians needed active intervention while fewer than 30 million were getting it in 2020. Out of 528 billion rupees (roughly $7 billion) which was India’s healthcare budget in 2018, 500 million rupees (about $6.6 million) was allocated to mental health, which was reduced to 400 million (approximately $5.7 million) in the following year while only 50 million rupees (roughly $650,000) was annually spent on mental health in India. According to New York Times, Kashmir is witnessing an alarming rate of anxiety and depression and every 9 in 10 people are suffering from conflict related trauma.We have a long way to go in the fight against mental health but perhaps the consideration that mental health requires attention is a step in the right direction.”
Shafaq Ihtesham (Student, MA Applied Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia)
“For the one’s whose thought ain’t no song, for the one’s for which it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I hope this day will hum with you and share a little light to see the tunnel.”
Tom Johnson ( MSC Psychology, Union Christian College, Aluva, Kerala)
“World mental health day 2020: theme- Mental Health for All-Greater Investment – Greater Access.Everyone, everywhere.
With regard to the theme for this year, I believe that as responsible citizens it the responsibility of each of us to ensure that we reduce the stigma attached with seeking treatment for mental ill-health and people should be able to approach a mental health professional as easily as they approach a physician in a case of medical needs, lets join hands to make mental health services accessible to each and everyone.”
Jasar Khan (Student, MA Applied Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi)
“Mental Health”, are we all really giving importance to it nowadays? May be it is a “yes” or “no”. Mental health have the same importance physical health have. If we notice we can know that if we are not okay, if our minds are disturbed, frustrsted or irritated and even if we are depressed it will somehow affects our physical health as well, both are correlated. It may be in different forms. We will be both physical and mentally tired and unknowingly we will withdraw from everything. Will it make us happy? Definitely No. Even then I used to see many of my friends hesitating to speak about their problems because of the stigma they have. I just need to tell that, if you are not feeling okay talk about it to anyone whom you feel comfortable, may be friends, parents, relatives, counselors or any others.Or if we are able to be aware about it we can do the little things that can make us happy or distract us from that.Acknowledging our feelings at that time and talking it out and if there is person to listen to it, that itself can make a difference to you or it can help to get up at that moment. Your mental health is important. Don’t hesitate to speak about it.”
Maryam Tayyiba ( Student, MBA HR, CMS B School, Jain University, Bangalore)
“I personally believe that mental health is purely subjective and social in nature. Attitudes,choices, experiences preferences, ,way of responding to the matters vary person to person,culture to culture,etc and so that we cannot define it ! Social in the sense, society or even nation’s developments ,expectation ,wealth and nature of ruling of the government have large impact on the mental health of each and every citizen of the nation or society.And,positive mental health can be achieved basically by having accepting,caring, loving ,trust worthy and valuing relationship ( even if it is a small number doesnt matter )and living in a mentally stable and healthy community and society at large.Self-love and compassion also play a pivotal role for it and it can be facilitated by having those relationship with others besides one’s inherent nature.In a nutshell,mental health doesnt stand or occur in vacuum!”
Hasna c (Student, MA Applied Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi)