All for Life

Mental Health

Your mental health is as important as your physical health! Take charge!

Article by Dr Hemlata Charitar-Sookha, Psychiatrist, Wellkin Hospital.

Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, for raising awareness of mental health issues and advocacy against social stigma.

  • Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health.
  • Mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders.
  • Mental health is determined by socioeconomic, biological and environmental factors.
  • Cost-effective public health and intersectoral strategies and interventions exist to promote, protect and restore mental health.

Mental health and well-being are fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life. On this basis, the promotion, protection and restoration of mental health can be regarded as a vital concern of individuals, communities and societies throughout the world.

Learning about developing symptoms, or early warning signs of mental health isssues, and taking action can help.

This year the World Mental Health Day focuses on Suicide prevention. Suicide is preventable. It is important to know the risk factors and Warning signs in order to prevent it.

Risk factors include:

1.. Previous suicide attempt(s)

2. A history of suicide in the family

3. Substance misuse

4.Mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder)

5. Losses and other events (for example, the breakup of a relationship or a death, academic failures, legal difficulties, financial difficulties, bullying)

6.History of trauma or abuse

7. Chronic physical illness

Warning signs of suicide

  1. Frequently talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  2. Talking about being hopeless, helpless or worthless
  3. Expressions of having no reasons for living; no sense of purpose in life; saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here”.
  4. Alcohol and/or drug misuse
  5. Isolation from friends, family and workplace.
  6. Dangerous behaviour or risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  7. Drastic mood changes
  8. Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others

Protective factors

  1. Contact with mental health care professionals (e.g., follow-up phone call from health care professionals)
  2. Mental health care; access to a variety of clinical interventions (medications, psychotherapy)
  3. Good support from family, community and social institutions
  4. Strategies for problem-solving.

Mental illness is not a personal failure… Together we can break the stigma about mental health!

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