Mind Matters: Why We Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week - Hindustan Times

Mind Matters: Why We Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week

May 16, 2023 10:44 AM IST

As Mental Health Awareness Week begins, a look at why it is critical for the individual and society as a whole

Mental health is a critical factor in overall wellness and crucial to quality of life. It encompasses our psychological, emotional, and social well-being and impacts how we feel, think, and act. Mental health affects how we perceive ourselves and the world around us, how we interact with others, and how we come to terms with stress. However, an unsound state of mind can greatly disturb our mental health and affects our ability to function effectively. Mental health problems have severe repercussions and impact our personal and professional lives drastically.

Effective management of mental health problems relies on early intervention and treatment. (StockPic) PREMIUM
Effective management of mental health problems relies on early intervention and treatment. (StockPic)

Mental health problems can occur at any age and can have a significant impact on individuals, families, and communities. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four individuals across the globe will experience mental health problems at some point in their life. These problems range from depression, anxiety, and stress-related issues to more severe conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can lead to significant social and economic burdens, including reduced productivity, increased healthcare costs, and reduced quality of life.

Effective management of mental health problems relies on early intervention and treatment. Education and awareness can play a significant role in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness thus promoting a culture of seeking help. Treatment options can include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management.

Mental Health Awareness Week, observed from 15 to 21 May this year, aims to raise public awareness of mental health issues and promote positive mental health practices. Celebrated in multiple countries, the event is organized by mental health advocacy groups, organizations, and government health agencies, with its focus and activities varying from year to year. The focus of this week is to encourage people to seek help, spread awareness, and promote mental health education.

The event also provides a platform for mental health organizations, where they organise events where employees are made aware of mental health issues. It has become a must-do event for all corporations, with every company having its own platforms and in-house events to share knowledge regarding this essential subject.

Mental Health Awareness Week is vital as it helps to increase public knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and contributes to reducing the stigma that often surrounds mental illness. Stigma is a significant barrier to seeking help for mental health problems and can prevent individuals from receiving the support they need. We must overcome it together.

Bhupinder Sandhu is a London-based mindfulness coach who believes in the human ability to build a blissful world together

The views expressed are personal

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