By Mansimran Kaur, Psychologist
Isn’t it easier to report physical pain such as a stomach ache, or joint pain than psychological pain?
We usually fall short of words in describing it. Also, perceive it as something that everyone faces. In the process of accepting and carrying on. We forget that despite everyone going through it. The intensity for one might not be the same as for another. Even if we take the example of a bottle if we add water and keep on adding water. After a point, it adds up so much that it falls out of the bottle. Similarly, if we keep on adding out stress, after a point it adds up so much that we feel like everything is falling apart and is uncontrollable.
This can further lead to clinical disorders like depression, anxiety, drug addiction, and even psychosis. Most of the time these problems go undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness. A layman might not understand the intensity of the problem. And might perceive it as ‘just a phase but, with a proper understanding. One can seek help and prevent it from developing as a full-blown disorder.
This understanding can come with the help of mental health awareness programs. These are goal-oriented and focus on imparting psychoeducation to people. Teaching them about psychological problems, and effective ways to deal with them. It focuses on ensuring the availability of mental health awareness. And care for all regardless of their age, gender, economic status, etc.
The Government of India 1982 launched the National Mental Health Program. The program focuses on destigmatizing people against mental health issues. It helps them to identify and provide them, with an insight into their and in general anyone’s mental health. It helps them to identify if they themselves or anyone around them has a problem that they should seek help for. Nowadays a lot of schools, colleges, hospitals, clinics, NGOs, and some organizations have undertaken the responsibility, to provide these mental health awareness interventions by organizing such programs at regular intervals.
They have hired professional psychologists that create such programs that work toward holistic development by creating mental health awareness and providing them with a step-by-step procedure that they can follow to take help and treat the problem. These programs are helpful because first, it provides access to the people about the problem they might have, second, it provides a safe space for people to open up and share whatever problem they are facing, and third, it helps in effective coping and treatment of the issue.
These programs not only help to impart knowledge about the illness but also, helps to teach caregivers and people associated with how they can contribute towards providing a supportive environment for the sufferer. It teaches them various ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind while dealing with the patient. The program includes a lot of fun yet informative activities that can help a layman to understand much easier.