Dignity in Mental Health!
- Doesn’t it sound like something which most of us would not have consciously thought about?!
Most of us have always looked at mentally differently abled people with a slight sense of sympathy. It is difficult to fathom what they are going through and it is further difficult to actually understand how to treat them and be with them in the society. We have seen a lot of mental institutes around to help these people but the sign of patronisation is not completely obsolete. It is out there, maybe in a subsidised level, but we all know that it is there and sometimes within us too.
So, as we write this post today, we talk about the World Health Organisation’s 2015 theme for the world mental health day – Dignity in mental health. WHO defines health as a combination of physical, mental and social well being. If we are allowed to go a step further, we would like to add the emotional well being as a part of this definition. Most often, we have linked mental health with disorders and disabilities and the inability to do or process a few things – well it is not entirely our fault, it is the communication we are introduced to all our life, our environment and the people around us, the peers, the society and the literature and media we are exposed to on a constant basis.
If we go a level deeper and think about it in our own lives and our own mental health, we believe a few things might start making sense. I do understand the immediate reaction to this sentence when I say – looking internally at your mental health, infact even I would react the same way and defensively say –
“There is nothing wrong with me, I don’t need to discuss or introspect my mental health”.
But that is mostly because of the connotation assigned to it. If we were to define mental health to our everyday stress level, the way we perceive the environment around us, the way we react to something unfavourable happening to us, the way we respond to our friends and society and people in need. The emotions, we are constantly befriended with, the number of times it is easy to irritate us and the number of reasons which can make us smile. And a poor mental health can result from the simplest of the reasons like social exclusion, feeling left out, unable to meet the societal or peer demands and pressures and so on. The list can go on and on, but we do realise that amidst these, we maintain a certain level of dignity for ourselves and we know that we can come out of this state of mind when we put our focus on it.
If we can afford this leeway to ourselves, why not that slight commitment to others as well. After all, each one of us has our own challenges and dignity is the right of each one of us and no one has the right to take it away from us – not even us – Thus aligning with the theme of WHO World mental health day this Oct 10, 2015 as we say “Dignity in mental Health” is not just a nice thing to have, it quite simply is a priority to say the least!
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