Dr. Pallavi Arvind Joshi, Consultant – Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Do you all know that India has the highest rate of suicide among the Southeast Asian region? India among other countries witnesses the highest number of suicides in the world. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), every one hour one student commits suicide in India. Every year the suicide rates are witnessing a jump. Compared to the suicide deaths in 2018, the year 2019 witnessed an increase of 3.4 percent. Every day, India lost 381 lives to suicide in 2019, as per NCRB data.
There is no health without mental health:
People commit suicide for many reasons and most of the time family members or friends may not be aware of or may ignore the reasons behind the suicide of their loved ones. When we closely look at the reasons for ‘suicide’ or ‘self-harm’ in most of the instances it could be due to uncured ‘mental illness’. This can prompt the person to take an extreme step in their life.
Mental health is an integral component of health. According to the World Health Organisation, “There is no health without mental health”. The mental health of a person includes his/her emotional, psychological, and social well-being. No matter which stage of life- childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and senior years we are in, mental health is important in all of these stages.
Even today there is a taboo associated with the discussion about mental health. The taboo has to be broken with community awareness to achieve progress in improving mental health.
Why mental health is important?
Mental health can turn into a serious condition as it affects our mood and the way we think and behave. It determines how we relate to others, how we make choices, and how we handle the stress factor. To realize one’s full potential and work productively, mental health is very crucial. On the other hand, mental health is important as it has a direct relation to physical health. It can significantly increase the risk of physical health problems like heart diseases, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It is a reality that people do not give the same importance to mental health as they give to physical health.
How can mental health play a role in overall wellbeing?
All of us must ask a question on how often do we think about our mental health which is very much needed for us to live and flourish? The answer in many cases may not be encouraging. This indicates that we have all have taken mental health for granted. Do not neglect your mental health and let this be on your priority as it directly affects your well-being.
Simple tips to maintain good mental health:
- Get ample rest and sleep always.
- Be active and fit. Exercise regularly
- Connect with others. Speak to your family members and friends regularly.
- Learn to handle stress. Meditate regularly to control stress. Develop hobbies like gardening, cooking, listening to music to manage stress.
- Be confident. Learn something new every day.
- Do not try to imitate others, be comfortable always
- Never set unrealistic targets for yourself. It might lead to disappointments
- Eat well and consume healthy food.
- Devote time to things that bring joy to you
And at last, do not feel shy to reach out to help when you need it. It’s okay to be not-okay but it’s not okay despite being not-okay you are not seeking the help.