World Mental Health Day (10th October 2023)

Since 1992, by the World Federation for Mental Health, ‘world mental health day’ is celebrated on 10th October every year for advocacy and awareness; for mental health support, education and services. It also works on tackling stigma, which decreases help seeking behavior. This year’s theme is “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”. Such a strong message has an aim to ensure that mental health services are provided to the last man in the remotest place in the highest attainable standard.

To achieve this, this focus will have to be on all three: primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Rehabilitation is also equally if not more important. We cannot put a full stop after treatment. As it is due to stigma that people come to treatment late and some try their best to avoid visiting a mental health professional. So, if there are no policies, for what after treatment, the human right of a person, still is only partially dealt with!

Primary prevention needs increase in scientific information being available to the public in the language that they understand via the use of various modalities. We will have to tackle issue like myths and stigma by increasing awareness of mental health risk factors and symptoms. The public has to be made to understand that good mental health is vital to our overall health;that there is “No Health Without Mental Health”. Actually 90% physical illnesses are due to stress. i.e., the mind-body relationship.

Unfortunately, mental health issues are increasing in adolescents and young people. This is of immense importance in a country like India, which is a country of the youth.

Human rights include getting the best attainable treatment, no discrimination, community living with proper access to good shelter and nutrition too; all of which are required for a person’s mental hygiene.

Our minds and our rights should go hand in hand for a humanistic treatment.