Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear”, this statement seems to go well with the prevailing mental health conditions in India. The taboo attached to mental health is what makes it a world issue as the awareness regarding this subject is just isn’t there.
No Health without mental health: A storyline of urban mental health

Utkarsha Pathak

Intern, Fores Legal

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear”, this statement seems to go well with the prevailing mental health conditions in India. The taboo attached to mental health is what makes it a world issue as the awareness regarding this subject is just isn’t there. In December 2017 when President Ram Nath Kovind warned us of a potential mental health epidemic , it made us face with the veracity that mental health in India is surely one of the major concerns that we as a nation are persistently fading to deal with. In our country, especially in urban areas mental health is very common and has a deep-rooted subsistence but what is more amusing is that detection and acceptance of mental illness is far-flung from being common. According to the forecast of World Health Organisation(WHO) by 2020 more or less 20 per cent of India will suffer from mental illnesses therefore this gives us a lucid depiction that the stipulation of mental health in India is startling . Although people in urban areas have become much more attentive about mental health than people in rural areas of the country and have appreciated the eminence and usefulness of mental health treatments but sadly these therapeutic revolutions over past 10 years in our country have not been able to reduce the stigma attached to mental illnesses which at the end of the day leads to disturbing consequences in the hot-shot lives of people generally consisting the urban inhabitants of India.

World Health Organization defines mental health as a state of well being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities and can cope with the normal stresses of life , can work productively and is able to make contribution to his or her community. An attentiveness of mental health helps an individual to wallop the right balance between the activities, responsibilities and efforts to attain psychological growth. It is more than just truancy of mental disorders or illness. Mental health has a great jolt on our daily living, relationships and overall life alas it has not been given the rostrum that it deserves. We all austerely adhere to the conception that “you are not sick , until sickness shows on your skin” but this notion needs to unnerved as mental illness is as imperative as any other physical illness and is no less than an economic or world crisis. When we talk about our country ,information about urban mental health services is next to being scatty, half of the population even the educated ones do not give substance to mental health. According to a survey conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) between 2004 and 2009 , every 10 th Delhite suffers from some kind of mental illness. This is not it a survey conducted by National Mental Health Survey states that in urban areas , 3 out 0f 4 people experience some kind of mental illness, depression, phobia, substance abuse etc along with huge treatment gap . Depression , Phobia, Substance abuse , schizophrenia etc at the moment have become very common illness that people living in urban areas deal with but feel mortified to talk about it. Today we are witnessing more suicides than ever and the reason being the ability to not converse about our tribulations and feelings openly. What mental health needs today is more sunlight, more condor and more unashamed conversations.

Unlike rural areas   in our country, the urban areas face more ruthlessness of mental illness due to their fast paced lifestyle, competition of living, constant pressure of maintaining social status and economic stability. It is seen that around 80% of the urban population suffer from mental illnesses but do not open on the subject due to the stigma attached to it which thereby deprives them of proper treatment leading to life changing problems and diseases. Families who come to know about it react very gawkily owed to the myths that it carries leading to desertion and marginalization of patients dealing with it in those harsh times when they are in utmost need of emotional and moral support. In urban areas people have become bourgeois also are in constant race of becoming number one outstanding to which they are so involved in themselves that they forget to look around to bestow support to those in need. People mull over mental illness as sign of not being normal although they need to understand that there is no standard normal, normal is subjective , there are 7 billion versions of normal on this planet and one cannot subject a person to the so called standards of normal created by society. Mental illness is followed by vacillation to seek help and people who do it are shirk away due which they do not come out of closets and speak about it but I find it nothing wrong to seek professional help for overcoming the negative feelings if one cannot balance it out alone atleast it helps one find a way to deal with his problems. When we need to get in good shape we approach gym trainers so why is that when we need to get good mental health we are discouraged to approach a person who’s professionally trained to help us for achieving mental peace? The answer lies within the shackles of society that gives anything but no magnitude to mental health. A person needs to have both physiological and psychological well being , they need to admit mental illnesses and even stress in their stride and talk about it candidly to create consciousness , giving out an exemplar that it is a very normal feat which can be cured easily.

All over the world 10 th October is renowned as World mental health day but the mental awareness needs to be created more proficiently . In our country it is considered an invisible illness which is yet to be ratified by public. The society needs to comprehend that mental illnesses are not individuals fault and are result of many factors like biological, social and environmental factors etc. Treatment for mental illnesses is unquestionably possible. In recent times the community in our country is giving an attempt to understand the mental health problems , lots of celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Matthew Perry etc have come out to unwrap about their mental issues making populace believe that its utterly normal to have blemishes just as we have our plus points. Family, friends and the society needs to have compassion towards the people going through trauma and the educational institutions need to start fabricating wakefulness about mental health from the foundation. Mental Illness is not a choice and anyone can build up mental health concerns. Urban Living in India gives way to cumulative stresses and lack of social support which results in deteriorated resiliency amid individuals causing deep rooted brunt on mental health. Furthermore NGOs, Social Organizations etc to should get themselves implicated in more campaigns surrounding these issues. Natives should seek constructive feedback about themselves from family and friends which would aid them to cope up with any difficulties. All these suicides’ , alcoholism and so forth are a somewhere a result of mental issues however it can be clogged if we start to reassess our lives along with becoming aware of what we are thinking and how are we responding in our ambiance as a consequence adapting to crucial changes in life. One should be uplifted to express what he/she feels and inculcate a sense of optimism within. Social platform today have become a great way for expressing oneself it engages a person with virtual society plus makes one feel that he is not alone which helps a person to stay allied with their loved ones without fear of missing out.

Finally I would like to conclude by saying that it is okay to ask for help and just because the society doesn’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem for you . I quote Rainer Maria Rikke who says “ the only journey is the journey within you” and it is extremely important for you to find your mental peace in any way and if necessary seeking help without thinking about the so called normal standards of society. Work on your positives , meditate , keep yourself busy with what you love and surround yourself with people who genuinely care and love you. More accentuation should be given by the government to mental health ,cheering finer infrastructure and more mental health professionals along with a proper training course specified to them to deal with the patients . Edify the people around you and do whatever it takes to improve your mental well being. It’s time to accept the mental health as indispensable part of life as well as time to change the norms of society , it is surely sturdy to eradicate the stigma attached to it but if proper support is provided then we can confidently triumph over it sooner or later . We often say that charity begins at home and so does mental awareness so next time you find a person dealing with some kind of mental illness don’t say ‘what is this behavior’ instead say ‘why is this behavior’. All in all starting with our own lives all of us have the joint responsibility of affecting change and as a consequence overcoming this crisis. So let’s vow towards giving added power to mental health and awareness.