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Mental Health

World Mental Health Day 2021: Things You Need To Know About The Day

World Mental Health Day is marked on October 10 with the overall objective to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. Here’s all you need to know about the day

World Mental Health Day 2021: Things You Need To Know About The Day
  • Every year, World Mental Health Day is celebrated with a theme
  • World Mental Health Day 2021 theme: Mental health in an unequal world
  • The day provides an opportunity to act together for mental health issues

New Delhi: World Health Organisation states globally, around 280 million people suffer from depression, whereas around 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder. It further adds that mental, neurological disorders make up 10% of the global burden of disease and 30% of non-fatal disease burden. As far as India is concerned, according to ‘The Global Burden Of Disease Study 1990 – 2017’ study, 197.3 million people were suffering from various mental disorders in India that is one in seven Indians. The country saw a two-fold increase in the diseases contributed by mental disorders – the total disease burden in India increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 4.7% in 2017.

Also Read: COVID-19 Stories: How The Pandemic Impacted The Mental Health?

Ministry of Family and Health survey also states that in India, one in every 12 elderly persons have symptoms of depression.

Every year, the World Health Organisation marks October 10 as the World Mental Health Day, with the overall objective to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

Here are a few things to know about the World Mental Health Day 2021:

What Is The Theme Of World Mental Health Day?

Every year, the day is marked with a particular theme, this year, the theme is ‘Mental Health In An Unequal World’ that focus on reducing the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ that is growing wider by every passing day and there is continuing unmet need in the care of people with a mental health problem.

World Federation for Mental Health that helped in choosing the theme of this year’s World Mental Health day states that this theme aims to highlight that access to mental health services remains unequal, with 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not any better. It further states that many people with a mental illness do not receive the treatment that they are entitled to and deserve. t⁵ogether with their families and caregivers continue to experience stigma and discrimination.

Also Read: Understanding The Burden Of Mental Disorders In India

What Is The Importance Of World Mental Health Day?

WHO states that the COVID-19 pandemic has had 3 major impact on people’s mental health, therefore the need to observe this day becomes even more important. It said,

Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological disorders have been significantly disrupted.

The day provides an opportunity to come together and act together for mental health issues that is currently affecting the world and ensure people are able to enjoy good mental health.

Also Read: Mental Health Explained: What Is Depression?

The Need For India To Focus On Mental Health

Why India needs to urgently focus on Mental Health can be established by the following statistics that highlights the grim situation of Mental Health in the country:

– According to the WHO, mental health workforce in India is not upto the mark and there is a huge shortage of mental health professionals in the country as compared to the number of people suffering from mental health issues. In India, per 1,00,000 population, there are only 0.292 psychiatrists against the desired number of 3 psychiatrists. Similarly, there are 0.067 psychologists working in the mental health sector against the ideal ratio of 1.5 per 1,00,000 population. Important to note that though the data was published in 2019 by WHO, for India, the figures are as of 2016.

According to the information by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Lok Sabha in 2018, India has just 898 psychologists against the requirement of 20,250. Moreover, the country has mere 1,500 psychiatric nurses against the requirement of 3,000. Wheres, if we look at the mental health infrastructure, India has 0.560 beds for mental health in general hospitals (per 1,00,000) whereas, the United States has 11.143. Similarly, there are 1.426 beds in mental hospitals (per 1,00,000) while the US has 18.660.

Mental Health and Wellbeing is a part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 agenda adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 – it comes under SDG goal 3 that not only focuses on physical health, but mental health as well. As per the goal, the target is to reduce one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being by 2030.

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India. 


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