The 10th of October marks World Mental Health Day. The main objective behind this day is to spread awareness regarding mental health problems, and simultaneously, to encourage people to seek timely help for mental health illnesses.
If we talk about Pakistan, there is significant stigma attached with the diagnosis and treatment of mental health illnesses. Many people refrain from seeking help for these illnesses because they afraid of being misfits in the society, and of being stigmatized for their illnesses. According to a study done by The Lancet Psychiatry in 2020, more than 90% of people with common mental illnesses in Pakistan remain untreated.
Mainly due to:
- Lack of education, and
- Lack of awareness regarding the gravity of mental health conditions,
Why People Fail To Overcome Mental Health Disorders
people are not very supportive of their relatives who might be going through a mental health condition. This prevents these people from wanting to seek help.
However, it is important to cultivate knowledge and awareness regarding this topic. If you have a physical illness, you are not able to actively perform your daily chores and to live your life to the fullest. Something is holding you back. This also applies to mental illnesses. If these illnesses go untreated, they can significantly impact one’s daily functioning.
It is important to seek timely help for mental health illnesses, because being mentally healthy enables you to:
- Have healthy and fulfilling social relationships
- Cope with daily stressors in life
- Develop a positive sense of self
- Stay motivated to take care of yourself (physically and mentally)
- Be more productive
- Make meaningful contributions to society
How Can We Correct And Assist People With Mental Illnesses
We need to work towards changing the perception that having a mental illness is shameful. People should not feel ashamed; asking for help and wanting to improve your mental health is a sign of strength. It shows that you recognize a problem, and you are willing to put in the work to feel better.
If we collectively make efforts to start conversations related to mental health and encourage people in our surroundings to actively speak about it, people going through mental health conditions would be motivated to seek help, and this would increase the likelihood of them seeking help.
Let us play an active part in starting these conversations from now on, because mental health matters!