The news of a young superstar ending his life by hanging has sent shock waves all around. It has once again opened up the debate on what any form of depression can do to a person. If such a successful artist can terminate his life in such a way, what can be the plight of a person deep in poverty, besieged by a million different worries. If we look at our own valley through this prism, and then take into account what has happened here for past many decades, capped now by a pandemic induced lockdown, one gets shivers through the spine. A population that has suffered in terms of loss of life, loss of livelihood, loss of security, and now is faced with a pandemic that has exacerbated all the existing problems, where can all this lead us to. There are many news stories and studies compiled by different medical and other related groups about the mental health status of this population. What does it reveal except a very grim picture.
The rising trends of anxiety, stress, and depression is now a talk around for many years. A place where people hardly knew that there was a thing called mental illness, are now facing it at a scale that is only frightening. In such a situation what can be done, is a question that stares us in our face. We cannot duck this question. Apart from treating the problem in medical sense, there is a need to look into the reasons of this problem, try and nip the evil in the bud. Some of the major contributing factors have been different forms of violence around, loss of bread earner, any shocking incident that unexpectedly hits a person, loss of livelihood, and other forms of economic hardships etc. If the concerned government departments can focus on each of these factors and frame policies and schemes accordingly, a good portion can be saved from becoming victim to such ailments. Second, if at the level of family, elders keep a lively relationship with the younger lot, it can have a good effect on our younger generation. Third, in our schools if teachers can take care of students beyond formal studies we can further raise the defences up. If all the segments of the society, and the government work in closer cooperation, chances are that we can save people even before they are trapped into mental illnesses.