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World Mental Health Day 2022

  • 11 Oct 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: World Mental Health Day, Covid-19, Indian Initiatives for Mental Health, Manodarpan, National Mental Health Program, Mental HealthCare Act 2017

For Mains: Issue of Mental Health

Why in News?

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day (10th October), the Lancet released a report titled “Ending Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health” and called for radical action to end stigma and discrimination associated with mental health.

What are the Findings of the Report?

  • Prevalence of Mental Health Condition:
    • Nearly one billion people globally are living with a mental health condition.
    • One out of seven in the age bracket of 10–19-year-olds suffers from a mental condition.
      • These people experience a double threat – the impact of the condition itself and the damaging social consequences of stigma and discrimination.
    • The Covid-19 pandemic helped highlight the urgent mental health situation across the world.
      • There was an estimated 25 % rise in the prevalence of depression and anxiety in the first year of the pandemic.
  • Impact:
    • 90% of people living with mental health conditions feel negatively impacted by stigma and discrimination.
    • Stigma can “cause social exclusion and disempowerment of people with mental health conditions leading to discrimination and human rights violations, including problems in accessing healthcare, challenges in securing employment, and increased likelihood of health complications leading to early death.
  • Indian Scenario:
    • Though there is a gradual reduction of stigma in India, it continues to be a real and present problem.
    • Women with a diagnosis of severe mental disorder and their family members do face more stigma which has ramifications for marriage and employment preventing social inclusion.
    • The Indian media, especially the visual media like television serials continue to portray mental illness negatively.
  • Suggestions:
    • There should be immediate action from governments, international organisations, employers, healthcare provider and media organisations, along with active contributions from people with lived experience, to work together to eliminate mental health stigma and discrimination.
    • Employers are to promote full access to educational opportunities, work participation and return-to-work programmes for people with mental health conditions and the school curriculum should include sessions for students to improve understanding of mental health conditions.
    • There is a need to empower and support people with lived experience of mental health conditions to play active roles in stigma reduction efforts.

Why is World Mental Health Day Celebrated?

  • About:
    • World Mental Health Day is marked on 10th October every year to spread awareness and education about mental health issues across the world.
      • The first time World Mental Health Day was observed was on 10th October, 1992.
    • The day was started as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary-General Richard Hunter.
  • Theme for Year 2022:
    • Making mental health for all a global priority.

What Initiatives are Taken by India to Promote Mental Health?

  • National Mental Health Program:
    • To address the huge burden of mental disorders and shortage of qualified professionals in the field of mental health, the government has been implementing the National Mental Health Program (NMHP) since 1982.
  • Mental HealthCare Act 2017:
  • Kiran Helpline:
    • It offers mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, promoting positive behaviours, etc.
  • Manodarpan:
    • The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) (now Ministry of Education) launched it under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is aimed to provide psychosocial support to students, family members and teachers for their mental health and well-being during the times of Covid-19.
  • Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System (MANAS):
    • In 2021, the government of India launched MANAS (Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System) mobile App to promote mental wellbeing across age different groups.

Way Forward

  • Mental health situation in India demands active policy interventions and resource allocation by the government. To reduce the stigma around mental health, we need measures to train and sensitize the community/society.
  • India also needs a constant stream of funds for educating and creating awareness about mental health and chronic issues around it.
  • The need of the hour is to provoke masses to learn about mental health through campaigns like Swachh Mansikta Abhiyan.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. What does this quotation mean to you - “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until and unless we obtain peace within ourselves.” – Dalai Lama (2021)

Source: TH

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