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World Mental Health Day 2019 Special

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Experts state that we are on the brink of a mental health crisis which requires immediate attention which can be addressed with the spread of awareness, consultation and proper medication

Mental health should not be discriminated. It is as common as diabetes or blood pressure. Community awareness is as important as the awareness of the person going through mental trauma. Awareness also eliminates stigma. If people are okay being vocal about it, it’s easier to seek help. Awareness is knowledge. Knowledge is power. And power can move things in a society in the most positive way in my opinion,” states Bhavya Doshi, CEO and Founder, TheDoodleDesk.

Pranav Anam, Founder, The Gene Box opines, ”When it comes to mental health, India is facing a serious crisis. According to the findings of World Health Organisation, it has been estimated that 56 million people suffer from depression and 38 million from anxiety disorders in our country. It has also been found that one of the prominent reasons behind student suicides in India are mental illnesses. People choose to hide their struggles with psychiatric disorders because they constantly have the fear that they will be judged and if they talk about it, they will be termed ‘weak’. So, raising awareness and providing treatment of mental health disorders is the need of the hour for the society as well as healthcare enablers. Conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia have genetic roots and tend to be inherited. Pre-symptomatic or predictive testing is the hope that society has as it enables people with important information about their predisposition and allows them to manage and in certain cases prevent the onset of such conditions. Awareness is one of the most important aspects that can change the way the country thinks and feels. The end goal is to give mental health equal importance as physiological health in determining overall wellness.”

Savitha Kuttan, CEO, Omnicuris says, “Primary healthcare physicians encounter a lot of patients who suffer from some sort of psychiatric morbidity, especially substance abuse, anxiety and affective disorders. They are often ill-equipped to address their mental health needs, which is problematic considering the fact that a significant number of people receive care exclusively in primary healthcare centres. According to data presented by the government in the Parliament recently, there are a meagre 898 psychologists in India as against a requirement of 20,250. In such a scenario, training primary physicians in addressing basic mental health issues becomes very important to ensure that care reaches a larger number of people. We need to implement a curriculum to train primary physicians to take on a more active role in recognising psychiatric disorders in patients, especially in settings with limited resources, such as rural India, where people suffering from anxiety and depression are underserved due to social stigma and a lack of trained physicians. This needs to be followed up by building the capacity of primary healthcare staff to diagnose and treat mental illnesses within the clinical structure and strengthening referrals. Community-based health fairs can also play a role by linking community members to primary care and increasing awareness about mental health in the community. This will help remove the stigma around mental health problems, encourage patients to seek treatment, and reduce the incidence of morbidity.”

“An entrepreneur’s life centres around stress, long working hours, erratic schedule and plenty of sacrifices. Every entrepreneur goes through their share of ups and downs; hence, stress management is essential for us. Anxiety is an inevitable human emotion but we have to find our ways to tackle it and translate it into positive energy.”

“I keep mental health as a top priority for myself and propagate the same among my employees. In my opinion, entrepreneurs need to tick at least the following three things off in pursuit of a healthy mind.”

“Be articulate: A lot of us tend not to get things off our chest, which is a threatening habit. People think being articulate makes them vulnerable, and as a result, they let things fester inside them, which leads to stress.”

“Exercise: I highly recommend starting our day with a vigorous session of training. I personally find jogging the most effective. It fuels us for the stressful day ahead and keep us energised all day long.”

“Get seven hours of sleep: We always downplay the importance of sleep. Sleep deprivation makes us cranky and hampers our concentration,” states Rakesh Soni, CEO, LoginRadius.

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