Mental health issues are taboo in this country. Words like ‘depression’ and ‘bipolar’ are frivolously used, undermining just how much they impact the lives of those suffering from these illnesses. Most of the time, mental issues are brushed under the carpet. While many are unaware that what they are experiencing is, in fact, a disease, others choose to be silent due to the stigma associated with mental health issues.
According to the World Health Organisation, 100 million people in India suffer from mental illnesses. The country is ill-equipped to deal with this number, with just 6,500 trained psychiatrists and 22,000–25,000 mental health workers, including psychologists and counsellors. According to an IndiaSpend report, the number of Indians suffering from mental illness exceeds that of the population of South Africa. At present, the mentally ill account for nearly 6.5 percent of the country’s population and it is estimated that by 2020 this number will increase to a staggering 20 percent.
Simply put, one in every 22 people suffers from depression and yet, the social stigma attached to this increasingly common mental illness continues to scare individuals away from seeking appropriate treatment. There is, therefore, a pressing need to create awareness about mental health by talking it all out with your friends, family, and colleagues. Breaking away from ‘institutionalised care’, India on March 27, 2017, took a progressive step towards implementing a rights-based approach to safeguarding and protecting the interests of the mentally ill.
To build a dialogue around this, YourStory is hosting an event—Towards Mental Health—soon.
Date: May 17 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:00 pm–6:30 pm
Venue: YourStory office
Facebook Live at 4:00 pm with Aishwarya Sathyanarayanan, a research scientist at YourDOST
Topic: Why India suffers from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
Moderated by Sourav Roy, Editor at SocialStory
Topic: What different stakeholders can do to build greater dialogue around mental health in India.
Moderated by Dipti Nair, Editor at YourStory
People attending the panel discussion have to fill in this invite.