I would like to take this opportunity to write a thing or two about the importance of mental health on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day.
There’s a lot of stigma around the idea of mental health. Mental illnesses are somewhat or even completely attributed to negativity. People who suffer from mental struggle often face humiliation, shame, discrimination, partiality, isolation, mockery and what not. It is put as if the ones who struggle mentally chose to feel or think the way that they do and at the end, all the reasons above is enough to push them to the edge of ending their own lives.
According to World Health Organization, every year one million people die from suicide. That means 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. In India, the statistics show that there’s one person dying from suicide every hour.
But even though the epidemic is so prevalent, society turns blind to see it. Mental Health is often equated to weakness when that is not at all the case. Our brain is very much a part of our body, it’s one of the most vital organs that keeps us alive. Now, when we suffer from health complications physically, everyone is empathetic. Talk about mental illness and everyone turns away.
People usually tend to define mental struggle as ‘just a phase’ or that ‘it is all in your head’, even going as far as to say that ‘it’s not real’, when its affects are so transparent. There are so many of us who have lost somebody close or someone that we knew to it.
There are often signs that someone going through suicidal thoughts show. When one suffers so hard that they think that they’re not worth it or their lives aren’t worth living anymore or that they have become nothing but a burden to their loved ones or they just want to die, nothing in life excites them anymore. Suicides stem from suicidal thoughts, which come from depression or mental illness. Mental Illnesses cover a spectrum of various disorders, some of which includes Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc.
If you know someone who is struggling or who struggles, please make sure to show them enough that you care and get them help. Acceptance, strong moral support and understanding is sometimes all they need instead of judgement, criticism or comparison.
Mental health should not be a taboo, it should not be a restricted thing to talk about. We all should feel equally safe and comfortable to ask one another about their mental well being too. It should not become a struggle for someone who is suffering from mental illness to confide in to their loved ones.
Mental health is nothing to be ashamed about and neither is talking about it.