Importance of mental health and breaking stigma


People struggling with mental health may be in your family, live next door, work in your office, or visit the same church or temple.

Only few of those affected receive treatment, often because of the stigma attached to mental health.

Untreated, mental illness can contribute to other medical problems, poor performance in studies and work, quarrels in relationships and increased risk of self harm and suicide.

It causes disturbances in thinking, feeling and behaviour, which makes it difficult to meet the normal functioning and demands of life. Causes of these diseases include genetics, changes in brain chemistry and structure, experiencing trauma and facing problems beyond the bearing capacity of the individual.

Stigma and misinformation regarding mental health can feel like overwhelming obstacles for the one who is struggling with illness.

Here are a few ways to promote mental health and break the stigma:

We need to talk openly about mental health and educate people in our known circle. If this helps just one person too, it is worth it.

We need to show compassion and affection to the one’s suffering. Spend lot of time listening to them and emphasise the fact that mental illness is very common and any one can get affected irrespective of age, gender, education & status.

We need to pass on the message that mental illness and its treatment has been portrayed wrongly in movies and television for years.

Promote positive attitudes, challenge myths and stereotypes which people hold in their mind. Even educated people have misinformation.

We can spread awareness among young college students by arranging talk session with Counselors/mental health professionals.

Treat everyone with dignity and respect. Offer support and encouragement to the one’s who come forward to get treated. Mental illness no way brings down an individual’s dignity.

As a society we must include everyone. It's against humanity to deny education/jobs to anyone with mental health issues.

This is how as responsible human beings we choose empowerment over shame and work towards the betterment of society.

Swathi Priya. P

Counselling Psychologist


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