With the entire world coming to a standstill with the horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration of World Mental Health on the 10th of October in such a situation has not only been tough but also challenging.

Talking about mental health has always been a subject of taboo, even now, when someone tries to open up about how one’s feeling, they are often labeled as ‘attention seekers’, the reason for which, thousands and thousands go on suffering in pain.

Coming back to the present scenario, where people are suffering, employees running jobless, the working class being stuck at home, succumbing to poverty and helplessness, health workers staying away from their family to take care of the one’s in the hospital, a time of losing connections with the outer world physically and getting accustomed to the virtual world that revolves behind a screen has been quite a difficult yet unfortunate time. With all the aforementioned situations, amidst everything has not only let the youngsters suffer alone but has taken a toll on the entire human community.

 

The fear was real, and the hype about COVID with unethical and false news has engulfed the minds with undesirable anxieties. The news about farmers’ suicide and sufferings, (which actually got less attention), so-called torch-bearers of journalism harassing innocents in the name of news, propagandas, and rapes that takes place in the country almost every six minutes of the day, the world has become no better place to live in.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data on ‘Suicides in India’ for the year 2019, reveals that at least 1,39,133 people died by suicide last year across the country. The report also points out that the majority of victims were in the age group of 18-45 and educated.

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Besides, one must admit that talking openly about mental health and breaking boundaries has always been a true thing. People across the world have spoken on mental health problems recently, via conferences, social media, and webinars held penal discussions, etc. Be it occasionally, when a suicide happens, people do come up with help.
The most important thing at this point in time, in response to the mental health campaign, is that this must keep going, people need to talk about their conditions without the fear of being judged.

According to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), the theme for World Mental Health Day 2020 is ‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access’.
The WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus states that the world is accepting the concept of universal health coverage and that mental health must be an integral part of Universal Health Coverage. “Nobody should be denied access to mental health care because she or he is poor or lives in a remote place.”
The theme also stresses the fact that mental health is a human right and it must be made available to all. Investment in mental health programs at the national and international levels now needs the most attention.

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The least, we the commoners can do at this point in time is contributing to the cause, talk about the importance of mental health and try imparting knowledge on the same among people of all age groups, from children to senior citizens. Let, at the least, be fair and talk about something worth fighting for.

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