Sunday, 24 October, 2021

Remove taboo on mental health

Remove taboo on mental health

The Covid-19 pandemic not only took a toll on our physical health, but also on the mental health of people of all ages and professions. Young people, being particularly sensitive, have felt a greater impact of being cooped up indoors, isolated at home and not being able to meet with their friends regularly. Prolonged closure of educational institutions created feelings of silent frustrations among many students, unable to continue life as usual with classes and social meets; it took a toll on their emotional wellbeing.

Strong family bonding offers great solace and comfort in times of needs. But troubles and tribulations in this pandemic are unusual from those faced at other times. During these trying times almost every member of the family may be facing some kind of problem which they may be unable to share with anyone in the family. Fathers facing job or income loss, mothers facing abuse or doing housework without any help, children who love playing outdoors being depressed at home, young girls facing pressure of getting married early, and many such pressing issues are playing havoc with the mental and emotional wellbeing to which most cannot find any solution.

Though family is a great source of physical and emotional wellbeing for everyone, but often for example it is difficult for a jobless father to offer emotional support to his depressed child when he is in need of such support himself. At times even the most loving and close-knit family cannot help its members, as proximity does not allow us to see the forest for the trees.

The pandemic has opened our eyes to the requirement of not only maintaining optimum physical health but also the need of emotional and psychological wellbeing. There is a rising need for professional counselling and psychiatrists to help our young people and also the adults who are shouldering family responsibilities. After all, families are the foundation of the society, which in turn is the foundation of the nation.

Unlike physical sickness, mental illness like depression carries a stigma in our society preventing expert consultation. Whereas physical sickness gets sympathy, emotional illness gets criticised. To overcome the taboo connected with mental health issues, ensure counsellors in every educational institution and organisations to address mental health issues of both young and adults to prevent suicidal thoughts leading to deaths.