While using the term ‘Health’, we seldom try to mean the health of our mind. Still, the concept of mental health is not as well known or spoken of as our physical health. The word health means the overall wellness of our body, which is both physically and mentally. Mental health is also an integral part of our overall health. It denotes the psychological well being of our body. From a general perspective, mental well-being includes how positively one perceives life and how it is the person’s emotional state. It includes competence, autonomy, self-efficacy, and emotional potential. According to WHO, the mental health of a person can also be understood how they utilize their abilities, cope with everyday stress, and how productive are they.
Moreover, mental health shows the success in mental functions, which includes productivity, good relations, and the ability to adapt. The opposite of mental health is a mental illness, which may lead to health problems like depression, grief, mood swings, etc. The most general way of achieving better mental health is by therapy and counseling, and medication being the last option. Poor mental or emotional health can also portray a bad influence on your physical health as good mental health will improve the way you live, while a poor one will degrade it.
There are many views or perspectives associated with the term mental health. Mental wellness is generally the positivity in one’s emotional condition and highlights the capacity to be flexible in life and adapt to changes. Humans develop a lot of behaviour and social skills from their childhood only, and this plays an essential role in the upcoming social lives of a person. Moreover, adverse mental health affects not only the immediate person but also the people around that person. At these stages, friends and families can be an excellent support group, especially for children.
In the modern world, the treatment of mental illness is revolutionary, as many great techniques are used to do this. Some of the current procedures are as follows –
- Pharmacotherapy – The use of pharmaceutical drugs is prevalent in this aspect to treat mental illness with antidepressants or benzodiazepines.
- Physical Activity – Doctors say that physical sport and activities can help a mind be fresh and active in a positive way. So a regular habit of physical activity goes a long way in improving mental health.
- Activity Therapy – Also known as recreational therapy or occupational therapy, here health is given the importance by engaging actively in various recreations like craft making. Even a walk can be a part of recreational therapy.
- Expressive Therapies – In this method, importance is in the aspect of creating art in a way to improve mental health. It can include various elements like dance therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.
- Meditation – One of the most traditional and also valid forms of treatment is meditation. It helps a ton to bring down depression, anxiety, and other stresses. It is very beneficial to bringing overall mental wellness.
Mental Health has always been given importance in the Indian mental health sciences
- In India, the aspect of mental health has been long in the knowledge of our ancestors, and the first mention was from the Vedic Era with instructions on how to go about it. In the same era, there was another mention that was there, from the south of the country where Siddha, a type of ancient medicinal technique, was practiced.
- The records of the first officially established hospital reference can be traced to the 1700s and the 1800s when the First Lunacy Act came out. Later got modified into the Indian Lunacy Act 1912 and came under legislation promptly.
- The significant development in this field took place in the 1900s and the 2000s. With various studies and clinics all across the country India did not stand back in regarding the seriousness of mental wellbeing. The government of India started a great initiative in 1975 to integrate mental health studies and treatments in our general sciences. With the formation of the National Mental Health Program in 1982, the major work in mental health reform started in India. The review of the National Mental Health Program in 1995 led to the launch of the District Mental Health Program in 1996. This helped in mixing the aspect of mental health care, along with the element of public care. There are about 125 DMPH sites in India.
- The recognition of the human rights of mentally ill persons was brought on by the National Human Rights Commission after a systematic and critical examination by the NHRC in 1998 and 2008. This helped in generating more funds to assist in the upgradation of these clinics for providing better care and service. This led to a lot of positive changes in this aspect.
- In 2016 the Mental Health Care Bill was passed. This bill helps in covering the treatments with insurance and also safeguarding the dignity of the people and the improvement of legal access to free medications.
- The actual aspect of mental health has always been foreign to Indians, where various social customs and religious customs prevail. Some people tend to refer it to black magic also. But slowly, with the help of the government and other organizations, this aspect is changing
- Nowadays, people are more aware of mental health problems as a reason for better education and public learning. Moreover, the past practices are dwindling, and the new reform in this process is anew and growing fast. More and more people are getting to understand the importance of mental health. By following what it is and how to overcome it; mental health is taking a positive reform towards a better future.
- The most recent Mental Health Act of 2017, after a thorough revision from its predecessor Act of 1987, there has been a few changes in this aspect. The Act helps in reforming suicidal attempts by giving the individuals opportunities in rehabilitation and not being punished.
- It helps in making India a defining force in the field of mental health in the International Committee regarding the steps taken to ensure the overall wellbeing of its people.
- The 2017 Act helps people with mental illness in making decisions regarding their health and provides them the appropriate knowledge on how to go about it. It also helps in safeguarding the rights of the people with the problem and gives that proper help and access to treatments and medications and no government discrimination.
- It also ensures the creation of multiple clinics to help in the treatment and curing of patients without much hassle as well as a review board to act as a regulatory body. It also helped in completely restricting the use of ECT i.e., Electroconvulsive therapy, except in the cases of Emergency along with anaesthesia and muscle relaxants.
- In this Act, the roles and responsibilities of other agencies have been outlined. It also has taken helped in taking steps to remove the stigma of mental illness from our culture for better understanding and care.
Mental health well being is a critical part of our lives, and thus, much importance should be in this matter. Good mental health will help us live a healthy life, and therefore, it requires a lot of attention from us.