Stigma of mental health

Dr. Jyanta Das Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, President Indian Association of Private Psychiatry State Branch, National Co- Chairperson of School Mental Health division of Indian Psychiatric Society

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Published: Oct 8, 2020 11:55:14 AM IST
Updated: Oct 8, 2020 02:52:50 PM IST

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Mental health issues are common these days. They influence a large number of individual, their companions, families, work partners and society in general. It is assessed that 1 out of every 6 individuals encounter a typical mental health issue. 10% of children and youngsters (5-16 years of age) have a clinically diagnosable mental issue. Depression is the dominating mental health issue around the world, trailed by nervousness, schizophrenia and bipolar issue.

A great many people who experience mental health issues recover completely, or can live with and manage them, particularly if they get help early. But despite the fact that endless individuals are influenced, there is a solid social stigma attached to mental illness, and individuals with mental health issues can encounter separation in all parts of their lives. Numerous individuals' issues are exacerbated by the stigma and segregation they experience - from society, yet additionally from families, companions and in employment. Almost the vast majority of individuals with mental health issues state that stigma and separation negatively affect their lives.

We know that people with mental health problems are amongst the least likely of any group with a long-term health condition or disability to:

  • Find work
  • Be in a steady, long-term relationship
  • Live in decent housing
  • Be socially included in mainstream society.
This is on the grounds that society in all has generalized perspectives about mental sickness and how it influences individuals. Numerous individuals accept that individuals with mental infirmity are vicious and risky, when in actuality they are more in danger of being assaulted or hurting themselves than hurting others.

Stigma and segregation can likewise intensify somebody's mental health issues, and defer or block their finding support and therapy, and their recuperation. Social disengagement, helpless lodging, joblessness and poverty are totally connected to mental illness. So stigma and segregation can trap individuals in a pattern of sickness. The circumstance is exacerbated by the media. Media reports frequently connect mental illness with violence, or depict individuals with mental health issues as risky, criminal, evil, or impaired and incapable to live typical, satisfied lives. This is a long way from the case.

Research shows that the most ideal approach to challenge these generalizations is through firsthand contact with individuals with experience of mental health issues. Various public and local missions are attempting to change public perspectives to mental illness.

Reducing stigma

  • To help in reducing mental health stigma, it’s important to understand what someone with mental illness may be going through.
  • It's important to know that people with mental illness have the same rights as everybody else.
  • When negative stereotypes come up in conversation or in the media, you can actively dispel myths and educate people against harmful, inaccurate stereotyping.
  • Be mindful about the words you use when describing yourself and others, avoiding insensitive and hurtful words.
Where to get support

If you suffer from stigma or know someone who does, help is available from:

  • Mental health professionals, such as psychologists, counselors or psychiatrists.
  • Local community health centres.
  • Local community mental health centres.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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