World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. This initiative was first taken up by World Federation for Mental Health and the World Health Organisation in 1992 following which it is celebrated on October 10 every year. Several major issues relating to mental health are addressed on this day. This year, the theme of World Mental Health Day is 'Young people and mental health in a changing world'
On this occasion, here are some key points that needs to be addressed:
People often confuse mental health problems with mental illness but not all mental health issue is mental illness. While the former can eventually lead to the later, both are very different from each other. Terms like 'Depression', 'Schizophrenia' represents serious mental illness that might need medical help but feeling low, lack of confidence, stress, etc. might count as a mental illness. However, both needs proper attention and care.
Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are the most vulnerable years of an individual's life because during that time major changes in one's life take place, for example changing schools, leaving home for making a life for themselves and starting university or a new job. Moreover, expanding the use of online technologies is one of the major reasons that contribute to disturbed mental health. According to the World Health Organisation, 'Many adolescents who are also living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.
The lack of awareness about mental health and the stigma related to it is one of the major problems in India. Moreover, the lack of mental health services in the interiors of the country have often lead to a huge mass of young generation suffer serious disorders. Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI) in their recent launch 'Reframe' highlights how various communities face mental health concerns. As per the organization, "Almost 9.8 million one to seventeen-year-old Indians are in need of active mental health support. Persons from economically vulnerable backgrounds face a risk for schizophrenia that is 8 times higher than those from privileged backgrounds. Overall, persons with disabilities (PWD) are estimated to be 8% of the population and social attitudes and stigma gravely limit their lives.