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World Mental Health Day 2021: Addressing The Stigma And Ways To Remove It

09 October,2021  |  By Brainwonders

About World Mental Health Day 2021:

On October 10th of each year, we gather together to commemorate World Mental Health Day or WMHD. Mental illness has the ability to influence a person's mood and conduct. This is a health problem that affects people from all walks of life and can be found in any region and culture. Over 1 billion people worldwide are thought to be suffering from some form of mental illness.

History of World Mental Health Day:

World Mental Health Day was established on October 10, 1992, by the World Federation of Mental Health. They didn’t have a precise objective other than to advocate for mental health as a whole but this day started to raise awareness related to mental health and the stigma around the topic. Around 1995, an increase in worldwide events occurred, resulting in more conferences and community celebrations on the issue. Now, the increased understanding of different issues of mental health has become more frequent on a worldwide basis as new themes are included.

The theme of World Mental Health Day 2021:

The theme of World Mental Health Day in 1994, was 'Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services Around the World.' Keeping the momentum going, World Federation For Mental Health (WFMH) board members all over the world planned events in honour of the day and its rising popularity among government departments, organisations, and citizens.

As time went on, more countries were involved, and as a result, citizens were more involved, as mental health became more linked with human rights.

For this time on World Mental Health Day 2021, the theme is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.

Why is World Mental Health Day 2021 important?
  1. Recognition of problems: It is very important to recognize mental health issues as real problems.
  2. Mental health was seen as a stigma before: Now mental health is recognized as a real illness. Now we are slowly moving towards identifying mental health as a real issue and diagnosing mental health problems.
  3. Sharing the problem together: It is important to share the issues and know that there are other survivors who have made it to the other side.
  4. Need of treatment: Now as we are moving towards a more educated society, we can understand the need for treatment for mental health issues.
  5. Need to talk about the issue: The need to talk about mental health is equally important without any hesitation.
5 Facts about Mental Health:

On World Mental Health Day 2021, let us look at some facts related to mental health.

  1. In some cultures, mental health issues are thought to be caused by spirit possession. While it is actually a medical condition.
  2. One out of every four people will require mental health treatment at some point in their lives.
  3. Mental and psychological well-being is linked to good mental health.
  4. The majority of people with mental health are thought to be violent while in reality, people suffering from mental health do not display violent behaviour.
  5. When mental therapy can be considered a waste of time, it can really help individuals cope with some serious mental health issues.
3 Aspects of mental health:

On World Mental Health Day 2021, let us take a look at mental health aspects.

  • Social: Mental health is a result of many factors: social, emotional, psychological. Social aspects can include the social well being of any individual. This can be a result of the social environment like family and friends. Spending time with family and friends has been considered improving social relationships and in turn, mental health.
  • Personal: Personal well being of an individual such as maintaining physical health, maintaining and celebrating personal achievements can all lead to personal health. Personal health is a very important aspect of Mental Health.
  • Career: Achievements in careers are equally important in maintaining one's mental health. Going for career counselling can help individuals choose the right career path. Extremely tough situations of competition in today's world can lead to a lot of stress and in turn, can make up another factor related to Mental Health. Among the plethora of job options available, the right career selection is very important. The uncertainty of jobs can lead to a lot of mental issues hence seeking the right help is very important.
Here we present some statistics related to Mental Health in India on World Mental Health Day 2021:
  • India has 9,000 psychiatrists or one per 100,000 people. The ideal number of psychiatrists per 100,000 people is three. As a result, India is short of 18,000 mental health professionals.
  • WHO also forecasts that about 7.5 per cent of Indians have a mental illness and that by the end of this year, roughly 20% of Indians will have a mental ailment.
  • According to statistics, 56 million Indians suffer from depression. Another 38 million people suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • According to the WHO, India's economic loss owing to mental health disorders will be 1.03 trillion dollars between 2012 and 2030.
  • According to the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) from 2015-16, approximately 80% of persons with mental disorders did not receive treatment for more than a year.

Is India ready to address the mental health issue?

On the occasion of Mental Health Day 2021, let us see how India is handling mental health. 

Despite being the world's fifth-largest economy, India has only spent 0.05 per cent of its yearly health budget on mental health in recent years, far less than the average spending of low-income countries, which is around 0.5 per cent of their healthcare budgets.

In 2018, India's healthcare budget was 528 billion rupees (about $7 billion), with mental health receiving 500 million rupees (nearly $6.6 million), which was lowered to 400 million rupees (roughly $5.7 million) the following year. India, on the other hand, spends barely 50 million rupees (approximately $650,000) each year on mental health.

Although mental health is rarely mentioned in the election manifestos of any political party in India, it is a fundamental right provided by the constitution to provide excellent health to its citizens. The Supreme Court has interpreted the "Right to Life" as not simply the act of breathing or existing, but also the quality of life and human dignity.

What can be done to improve now?

On Mental Health Day 2021, let us see what can be done to improve?

The need of the hour is to raise awareness and educate people about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, as well as to normalise the idea of getting help for oneself or a loved one.

More open conversation and dialogue with the general population, rather than just professionals, is needed on this topic, which will assist to establish a more inclusive atmosphere for those with mental illness.

5 Ways how you can help someone suffering from mental health issues on Mental Health Day 2021:
  1. Notice: It is very important to notice any kind of behaviour or any other changes in the person. Any kind of signs can be a result of a person suffering from a mental health issue.
  2. Listen: It is very important to share the problems. When friends or family share the issues, it is important to make the person feel heard.
  3. Remove the stigma: It is important to be open about mental health and burst the myths revolving around the topic. There are many beliefs that mislead people as a result of which leads to shying away from talking openly about mental health.
  4. Educating about mental health: Mental health and issues revolving around it are very important to know fully. Right education is very crucial in this aspect.
  5. Promoting a healthy way of life: A healthy lifestyle, maintaining physical activity, being close to nature, accomplishing small goals can all make up for promoting a healthy lifestyle.

On this World Mental Health Day 2021 or WMHD 2021, we urge you to reach out to help those who need the help and ask for help when in need without hesitation.

Happy World Mental Health Day


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