Aid For Mental Health

In Nepal, a lot of people are believed to suffer from psychiatric problems. 90% of these people in requirement of treatment and facilities do not have access to such services.

Oct. 27, 2017, 2:53 p.m.

Very recently, there was an extensive coverage of a girl’s suicide on social media. There are so many cases like this that occur almost every day in our country. When people suffer from physical or physiological maladies, they always see a doctor. However, in case of mental or psychological ailments, people keep it inside themselves and cause more harm, like self-harm and harm to other people. In the USA, such cases of mentally troubled people causing mass shootings like the recent Vegas Shooting and so many school shootings last year.

 In Nepal, a lot of people are believed to suffer from psychiatric problems. 90% of these people in requirement of treatment and facilities do not have access to such services. A lot of these people end up killing themselves. The very fact that there are no leads to connection of suicide with mental health is proof that in the first place its seriousness is not considered. Additionally, the statistics are pilfered on their various stages of passing from one level to the another. This is also dependent on lack of systematic reporting of such incidents. Nevertheless, suicide is on the rise, even though there may not be statistics readily available.

 It is estimated that by 2030, mental illness will account for about 15% of the global burden of disease. Out of all the suicides that are committed in the world, about 90% can be associated with mental illnesses. Globally, 20% of the adolescents and children are clinically suffering from mental disorders or problems. Especially in low income countries like Nepal, mental health is a very misunderstood and unaddressed concept and the lack of awareness and preventive measures compel people to take their own lives.

 Mental health, in its commonly acceptable form is not only the absence of mental ailments but also a state of well-being where a person is capable of coping with normal stress, working productively; and realizes his or her abilities. Mental health is influenced by a lot of factors, some of them being biological, socio-economic, and environmental. These disorders are usually common among young adults and also among women of reproductive age. For instance, unemployment, family and relationship struggles, survivors of violence and abuse, trauma, financial crises, alcohol or substance abuse and thousands of other reasons are known to induce mental stress and disorders.

 In rural areas, people suffering from disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others are not treated with care. Instead, they are tied to trees or locked in the rooms, chained and physically harassed. Additionally, they are also taken to shamans and faith healers, who in turn order, the family members to perform atrocious acts like pouring hot water on them or burning them with hot iron. In a country where even urban dwellers do not have anticipated access to treatment, people in rural areas have nothing.

 Even where treatment is available, the patients suffering from mental illnesses are hesitant to seek help. This springs up due to the fear of being judged or discriminated against. A large number of people do not understand the essence of mental ailments because of which a patient has to undergo more mental stress. To escape this, people do not confess. A lot of patients have other barriers preventing them from getting help. Moreover, they do not want to see a good doctor even if they can afford one because they do not believe in the professionalism of the doctor.

 While a lot of people actively and openly discuss about mental health today, it is still a subject not widely understood by a majority of people. For a lot of people, this is a concept incomprehensible and a product of the mind. Ailments like depression or anxiety are very easily warded off as a fruit of one’s own mind. This comes from lack of information and awareness. Issues of mental health and hygiene are not included in course books nor are they discussed widely. The efforts made by the government to combat the issue are almost negligible. Not even 2% of national spending is set aside for mental health. This is sad because we lose such valuable people to an ailment so serious but also curable if addressed timely.

 A handful of organisations do work to spread awareness and education on mental ailments. A few of them provide counselling and other required services to the patients. Though such efforts are commendable, they are not enough to provide to a larger mass. This is not possible unless implemented by an organisation with a wide reach or even by the government as it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the citizens. Additionally, the family members and close friends need to be welcoming to patients opening to them. Seeking mental health is not a taboo or a thing of shame. The mind is more than any other part of the body. It is in fact the most important part. To ensure proper functioning and good health of the mind, it needs help when required and getting help should be encouraged.




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