World Mental Health Day
The 10th of October is observed as the World Mental Health Day. It was first observed in the year 1992 by the World Federation of Mental Health. The organization is active in over 150 countries.On the 10th of October, every year supporters come to celebrate awareness of mental health. The event is aimed at generating awareness of mental health and its impact on the life of people worldwide.
The World Health Organization supports World Mental Health Day in a bid to bring the attention of more people towards mental health.For the first two years of its observation, the World Mental Health Day did not have any themes apart from advocating for mental health and educating the public about the same.
However, 1994 onwards, the World Mental Health Day was observed on themes. The first ever theme was “Improving the quality of mental health services throughout the world.” The theme for the current year was, “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.”Though the global event has garnered a lot of traction over the years, it still needs more awareness among people.
Initiatives to spread awareness in India
There are different ways in which mental health awareness can be spread in the country. For starters, conventional media plays a major role in the exercise. One of the bigger contributions of the mainstream media has been celebrity Deepika Padukone’s sharing of her depression experience.
The government has undertaken a few measures as well.Programs such as National and District Mental Health Programs and the National Rural Health Mission aim at providing mental health as a part of primary healthcare.
A lot of individuals face chronic mental illness before the onset of 24 years, meaning they are still in the education system. Thus, the education system also offers a lot of scope for spreading awareness.
Given the depth and sensitivity of the issue at hand, even health insurance companies have come forward in this regard. The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 now ensures that health insurance plans now cover the treatment of mental health like physical illness.
A WHO report reveals that 7.5% of the entire population in the country suffers from some form of mental disorder. To make matters worse, we only have about 4000 mental health professionals in the country.
While there is no instant way to fix mental illness in the country, a slew of measures might set the direction right. It starts with awareness, followed by diagnosis and intervention, along with continued care and support with the help of varied services.
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