Introduction to Mental Health
India is facing a serious mental health crisis with over 70 million individuals suffering from depression and anxiety.
The rampant social stigma towards mental health disorders and inadequate public funding for mental healthcare disproportionately impacts those from marginalized communities. Access to mental healthcare is bleak and there is a significant gap between the number of trained mental health professionals and the number of citizens requiring mental healthcare.
Furthermore, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important now than ever before to address mental health issues in the country.
Mental health is a state of wellbeing where a person is able to:
- Have healthy thoughts and emotions
- Function on a daily basis
- Work productively
- Engage in social contracts
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Contribute to society
Mental health exists on a spectrum, meaning, your mental health is dynamic and changes according to the environment at a particular time.
For example, if you think you've done badly in an exam, you may be a few paces to the right. But the results come out and you’ve done fairly well, so you slide up the scale towards feeling better. Mental wellbeing and emotional distress are only two ends of the same spectrum and where we stand on this spectrum on any given day is impacted by context of the situation which affects our thoughts, emotions and behavior.
We all experience emotional distress at some point in our lives. Experiencing emotional distress is a universal experience. If you find yourself dealing with it, you are not alone. If you are feeling distressed, reach out to the Mann Talks helpline and get help today.
You are the best judge of your own mental health. If you are not feeling a 100%, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I able to cope with the stress of my life?
- Am I able to carry out my daily functions?
- Am I having trouble engaging with others?
- Where have I been on the spectrum of mental health lately?
Answering these questions for yourself will help you figure out if you are experiencing some form of distress.
It is natural for our mental health to dip in response to our environment. You may want to seek help if signs of emotional distress persist for more than two weeks; or there has been a significant change in the environment like bereavement or a traumatic event.