Mental health includes a persons emotional, psychological and social well-being. It also includes how a person thinks, behaves and feels. Mental health is an abstruse subject to address.

Most often, people confuse mental illness with mental diseases, they have different aspects. People are uninformed in considering the condition of depression or mental stress as a health hazard, which is why we have failed to address people around us who are suffering from it and in offering adequate help and assistance to them.

Defining mental health formally, quoting WHO, which says, mental health is, “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” The WHO stresses that mental health “is not just the absence of mental disorder.” Here are some statistics around mental health,

1. According to the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, every week, 1 in 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression and 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point.

2. More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition. These statistics show how grave the situation is!

“Some days, I feel everything at once. Other days, I feel nothing at all. I don’t know what’s worse: drowning beneath the waves or dying from the thirst. “ – Unknown

The quote above quite intricately describes what depression could be like. What looks on the outside of a person is quite different from the inside. People look happy on the outside but are battling depression deep down. There could be substantial changes if people could talk to each other and connect at an emotional level. Reaching out to professional psychological help is important is such conditions rather than shying away from it.

Things are hopefully improving as people have become more aware of mental illness. There are various therapies available for the treatment of various mental conditions like depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and anger issues. Some of the things that could help are;

      1. Staying positive; easier said than done, needs consistent effort.

      2. Ignoring negative people around us; could be done.

      3. Sharing problems with others; must be done.

      4. Helping others; true, gives a feeling of belonging and satisfaction.

      5. Keeping in touch with friends and family; should be done constantly.

      6. Trying to avoid too much solitude; being a loner aggravates mental health issues.

      7. Seek medical help whenever needed; consult experts, they know the medical condition and will diagnose accordingly.

Technologically advanced methods can be employed to assist health specialists in improving the overall mental health of people. Over the last fifteen years or so, social media has unleashed a platform for people to speak their thoughts and opinions. What we say or write is actually what we really are.

Analysis of this generated data could get some tremendously meaningful insights about people’s feelings, motives, and their overall mental health. We could apply machine learning algorithms to identify those who are at most risk of depression.

As an example, Happify, an application available on play store features some games and activities that are believed to reduce stress and overcome negative thoughts. Such technology could help people like some level to make the world a better place to live in. In the coming years, there would be more awareness about mental health and hopefully a permanent cure.

Authors

Tafheem Masudi (tafheem.masudi@outlook.com)

Shivangi Pandey (shivangi.pandey101@gmail.com)

Author

A Ph.D. graduate from FMI Novartis, Switzerland | Currently a Postdoctoral fellow in GU, Sweden | Mental Health Advocate.