In the midst of the pandemic, time has gone stagnant for everyone. People are taking extra care of them physically and internally. No one wants to have an excuse to visit the hospital, no on wants to get hurt.
Now when we use the word health, 95%. of people feel that the other person is healthy if they do not have a bruise on them or they are not suffering through a disease. Basically something they can see. In layman terms, the physical aspect of it. The health that one generally tends to ignore and is equally important for a body or a person to function is Mental Health.
Yes, Mental health. We do not talk about it much in India because it is not paid its due attention or importance. For around 60% of India the concept of mental health doesn’t exist. It is something that really doesn't catch our attention because at some places it is still considered a taboo. If someone is mentally stressed, they are either termed as weak or is generally thought of as an excuse one makes when they cant achieve something. This makes it tough, nearly impossible for people to open up about it. And well we all know the results of such activities. According to Värnik, the adjusted suicide rate in India is 10.5 per 100,000 people, while the world’s suicide rate is 11.6 per 100,000 people. What is even more shocking is that according to a report in The Hindu, 1 student takes their life in India EVERY HOUR. And there are around 28 cases reported, EVERYDAY.
Now, what we need to ask ourselves is, where exactly are we going wrong? Are we so incapable of talking to our children or students? Are we so incapable to understand what they are going through? Do we put so much pressure and not realise? More importantly, what can be done to prevent this?
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, everyone’s world now resides in their laptops. I want to focus on the school students specifically, because this is the prime age where this pressure on mind starts to build and if we counter it at its base, we can stop it from growing and turning to severe illness like depression, anxiety and extremes like suicide. Due to the online classes and sitting in front of laptop continuously whole day in room and not being able to go out in the open can be very exhausting, mentally. The students do not even realise what is happening to them, they suddenly start getting frustrated and irritated very easily and are always in a bad mood. Now they do not suspect anything because they themselves do not know what is happening. This is the parent’s and school’s responsibility to talk to them about their Mental health and make them aware of its importance in their lives. How a student is taught, to come to their parents or guardian or a doctor after getting a bruise or getting hurt, physically, while playing outside or doing any other task, to ask for advice on which medicine to put on the wound and what to do about it, this should be case for mental health as well. The students should feel free to discuss it with their parents, guardians or even a professional, if the situation demands so.
It is high time that we make Mental Health a topic which can be discussed openly amongst families and friends rather than portraying it as some unspeakable sin. Being aware of the problem, is the first step towards solving the problem.