Breaking the Stigma About Mental Health

Mental health is taken as a taboo in our society though many people face mental health problems. Mental health has been a big issue in countries like Nepal, which gives more importance to physical wellbeing rather than mental wellbeing of people. As a result, people hesitate to disclose their mental health problems, partly also because the media tends to portray mental health issues as a shameful condition. So fearing that they might be misjudged as being ‘crazy’ or be stigmatized, many tend to suffer in silence.

Often mental health is taken as a fault of the patients themselves. They are expected to be happy and behave normally while they actually cannot do so.

People should think of mental illness as any other disease like diabetes, Covid-19, or cancer. If not treated on time, mental health patients may even commit suicide.

So how should society as a whole respond to mental health issues?

First, mental health patients should not be misjudged. We need to listen to their concerns so that they can overcome fears and anxiety. Second, we need to have more mental health treatment facilities and educate people regarding what triggers mental health problems, what happens during different stages of the problem, its symptoms, and prevention measures.  Third, mental health should be a part of the school curriculum. Campaigns in social media using hashtags such as # breaking stigma and # mental health awareness could help. Most of all, we need to try to keep the mental health patients happy.

Most youngsters suffer from mental health problems due to various factors such as stress, parental pressures, and unreasonable expectations from schools and teachers. Besides, addiction to the internet also affects their mental health. People suffering from mental health illness should seek help. People often think mental illness can be cured only through medicine and therapy. Recreating memories, painting, dancing, traveling, and spending time with families and friends can help improve mental health situations. Spending time with your loved ones, and sharing how you feel can help to a larger extent.

In countries like Nepal, people often feel embarrassed talking about mental health and tend to stay silent. Silence only makes the situation worse. We should talk about mental illness more and more and find its cure.

By: Anushka Nepali (Science, D1)

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