Why We Should Celebrate World Mental Health Day?

Why We Should Celebrate World Mental Health Day?

world mental health dayWorld Mental Health Day celebrates hope for the specially-abled millions who live with these conditions every day. Every day in their life is a challenge and it is on us to make their life easy by giving them proper healthcare facilities and rehabilitative treatments. To realise the same need, the day is celebrated to build awareness around the mental health concerns, mobilize all the popular efforts & strengthen mental healthcare standards worldwide.

2015 Theme

This year too, the World Mental Health Day was celebrated with the same vigour but its focus was shifted to restoring the dignity of the people not keeping in good mental health. There are thousands of people going through different mental health conditions who are devoid of their rights. They not only face discrimination at the hands of society but are also left stigmatized and marginalised.

The Challenges

They are sometimes subjected to physical and emotional abuse while living in mental health facilities or the community. More violations are triggered by the poor quality care as the facilities are dilapidated and qualified health professionals are a rarity. Therefore, the theme for this year’s mental health day was decided to be ‘dignity in mental health’. This time, the World Health Organisation tried to raise awareness on what needs to be done in order to help people with various mental health conditions to live in dignity.

To live with dignity cannot be taught at a special school for mentally disabled. It can come only from more human rights oriented policies and laws, training of health professionals, regard for an informed consensual treatment, inclusion in the decision-making as well as from public information campaigns. Now, narrowing down the focus to the cases of our own country, India, we would like to throw light on reinstating dignity and hope.

Cases to Study

The World Health Organisation recently jotted down the case of a girl named Shamma to explain that it took time for her family and teachers to relate to her and to know why she was facing difficulties at school. Her teachers came up with complaints to her parents that she fought with her peers only because they were teasing her. The problem worsened as the speculations were rife that she was possessed by some supernatural force or had become a victim to black magic.

When her father was on the verge of breaking down, he luckily got support from an institution that offered mental health services when she was diagnosed schizophrenic. Here, she got the much needed help she required. In India, there are about 43 mental health hospitals that are funded by the government to help more than 70 million people who are dealing with mental disorders like Shamma. But the sad part is that only 3 psychiatrists and lesser psychologists are available for every one million population.

A huge challenge that stands before these therapists or rehabilitation experts is how to change the existing mindset that looks down upon people having mental illness thinking that they cannot make meaningful life decisions. The most difficult part is calling for an attitudinal change in the health workers as well as the community leaders who do all the groundwork to be empathetic towards people with mental ailments.

We Intervene

One fine example that can be cited in this regard is of Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), a special school for mentally retarded that offers holistic care to special children and looks forward to ensure a better treatment for them within communities. The #WaveRiders of MBCN work with their parent organisation, The Ponty Chadha Foundation (PCF) to give wings to the hopes and dreams of the differently-abled.

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