Mental health issues are usually brushed under the carpet as topics that are not raised in mainstream conversations. People who suffer from mental health issues are wary of the stigma that comes with discussing such problems. They are quickly termed ‘mad’ by people around them unless they have a group of sympathetic friends and family members. To shrug off the stigma related to mental health, the World Federation for Mental Health organizes World Mental Health Day on October 10.
This year, the event was supported by the World Health Organization or WHO, along with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health.
The focus point this year was the prevention of suicide. If you go by official stats released and collated globally, you will know that more than 800,000 people die by suicide annually. What’s more shocking is that for every death caused this way, there are 20 attempts that are made but prevented somehow.
Psychologists in Kolkata point out the rising number of suicides in and around the city, and the rural areas in recent times. There are so many reasons for this spike in the graph. Debt and economical reasons rank at the very top. Newspapers reported suicide cases due to anxiety related to the NRC in the last few months. So the reasons are varied and often quite complex. Psychologists who study these cases also find that many of these suicides were preventable if only there was an institutionalized effort to do so.
More often than not, people commit suicides because they are unable to talk about their feelings or communicate with others. The bottled up feelings and anxieties take control over reason and the effect is a suicide attempt. If these individuals get a window to vent their emotions, many suicides can be prevented. There is a lot of scopes to reach out to suicide-prone individuals both through individual psychological counseling and through community efforts.
Several celebrities have come out and spoken about their feelings of anxiety and depression leading to suicidal thoughts recently. Their purpose is the same: make it possible for people to talk about mental health problems with more ease and less shame. If all make a concerted effort, we can deal with mental health problems going forward.
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