Open Up to Mental Health
Ayesha Arshad Habib Din
Mental health needs to be in every government’s action plan. One of the main reasons that the mental health is so unimportant to the society is because the government fails to deliver its part. Currently, more than 40 percent of the countries have zero mental health policy and over 30 percent have no mental health program. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 33 percent of countries allocate less than 1 percent of the total health budget to the mental health, About 25 percent of countries, do not even have the three most common drugs used to cure schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders and epilepsy at primary health care stage. By looking at these facts, one can easily analyze the reason why mentally ill people end up their lives by suicide and self harm.
When talking about anyone with mental illness or anything that involves the mind, the first question that arises in every mediocre mind is ‘is he insane or retarded”. The problem is not in the person who is suffering from mental illness but the way the society has been interpreting it since ages. The fancy nomenclature of the various mental illnesses has made it very convenient for people to write about it on social platforms but the question is how many people actually feel about it or how many of them are genuinely out there to help anyone in need of health and suffering from a mental illness.
To my knowledge, the society has always been opinionated about people suffering from mental disorders, because that is the most effortless thing to do. To my utmost shock, I have known people, who exploit the mentally ill people by manipulating them and putting them in the position of the culprit cause they are aware of how easily the person affected by the illness can get the way people demand them to be.
We still need to work on the message that mental illness is just like any other physical illness, the only thing that makes it different from the latter is the part of our being that it affects. Mental health is something that has been growing like weed in the developed and developing countries and yet such little priority is given to it. According to the world health report of 2001, Mental Disorders affect one in four people, that means every 4th person you meet has some or the other mental problem. Mental illness is not a personal loss. In fact, if there has been or have been any failure, it is to be found in the way we react to people with mental disorders. There are different spans of these disorders, some of them are short and temporary and some are chronic and long-lasting but the proper treatments and the right medications can help people to live a healthy and productive life.
Mental trauma has anyways been a nightmare for people suffering from it, the current pandemic situation has made it all the way more horrendous. The sudden deaths in the family and social distancing from people who they love, loss of job and sudden sickness has made people much more vulnerable to the mental disorders. Domestic violence has grown outrageously, people have become emotionally vulnerable and emotional breakdown has become way more prominent during this time. At this time, mental health needs our utmost attention, but sadly we are still failing at it.
It’s sad but a fact that how small acts of love and kindness s and empathy can actually heal the afflicted person but yet we are unable to feed them with something so natural and human. It breaks me to actually know and admit in my complete soundness of mind that we have substantially and vastly failed to actually do something that should have been the natural action of human race.
Where ever 4th person is suffering with mental trauma and oddity, it’s high time that we buckle up together and fight for the affected person and against the disorder. We all need to inculcate the audacity to accept the failing nature of human and the human associations to work for the mental health programs and rituals. We need to understand, how crucial it is and is becoming to nurture people with trauma and vulnerabilities. The world will be beautiful, only if we revive the humanity in us. We are humans, empathy has to be our religion but sadly we have to work in order to create it, this, something that should have been our natural response. Let’s not look at mental disorders as taboo, treat it as any other illness we face in our lives. Let’s be more loving, appreciative. Let’s be more compassionate than cruel, more generous than meager, more patient than violent. Be more humane than inhumane...
Let us be artistically kind than artfully cruel.
The author is a student of Management at Islamic University of Science and Technology
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.