Significance of mental well-being
It goes a familiar statement that sound mind lives in a sound body. It is time to review this statement how far it is true. However it is pertinent to raise a question, do we really think of sound body without our mental well-being? It is evident in many regards that mental unwell-being can paralyze the strength of the body causing a dire impact.
According to the World Health Organization, mental well-being refers to a state of well-being that enables an individual to work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
Though mental health can be measured on the basis of overall outcomes of an individual for his family, society and country, people living in low and middle income countries hardly realize the matter.
Data show that more than 75% of people across the globesuffer from mental and neurological disorders receiving no treatment for their condition at all. Our country is not an exception as the issue of mental health has not been considered as important as we go on with other branches of health services.
The National Mental Health Survey (2018-19) reports that almost 17% of the adult population underwent some sorts of mental condition,of them 92.3% did not seek medical attention whereas 14% of children aged between 7 to 17 years suffered from mental health issues and 94.5% of them never consulted doctors. The report also reveals that for per 100 000 people there were only 0.13 psychiatrists in the country.
The overall world scenario is also disappointing in this connection as 1 in 4 people experience mental unwell-being at some point in their lives where anxiety, depression and other mind-related disorders are common to notice.
Truly,the wrong concept regarding mental health is still prevailing in the society. People are still scared to discuss their mental health issuespublicly due to the stigma historically attached with it. Mental disorder is not confined to insomnia or madness, rather covers many more areas which need to be addressed. But most cases remain undetected and untreated.
However, another great blow has already been added to the existing mental health issueas people across the world are undergoing a mental and economic recession due to the unprecedented corona pandemic leading to unbearable loss to hardly any sector, which is not uninfluenced.
This ongoing pandemic has already caused thousands of people jobless and in many cases people who are going on with their jobs are faced with monetary and mental threats deepening their mental unwell-being. In the meantime many private organizations have endured a dire catastrophe that has made them decline to invest more in different development sectors in the country while layoff of the staffs is common to notice.
Apart from this, many city dwellers have shifted to villages failing to endure the cost of living in the city that has made them worry to maintain their livelihoods. Students are undergoing unprecedented holidays leading to cause huge uncertainties along with mental traumas as the reopening of educational institutions is still uncertain.
Frustrations reign in their minds. Children are being exposed with many complex symptoms related to mental affairs. Due to the mental despondency the rate of committing suicide among the youth has increased manifolds.
On top of that, rape and many forms of social menaces are rampant causing vulnerability in the society. Many may oppose claiming that are sexual harassment, teasing and many other forms of crimes against women the effects of mental disorder? Yes, we know, these are all heinous crimes but their origin is out of mental disorder.
Obviously, in the integrated specialized health services such as maternal and child health and many other medical services sectors Bangladesh has achieved a tremendous success but mental health care is still suffering in the country. It is noteworthy that every public university has a student counselling center but the provision of student-friendly atmosphere is still ignored.Besides, private universities hardly respond to facilitating the mental health service for their students.
To this end, it is very imperative to open mental healthcare accessible to all irrespective of children, youth and the old. It finds no alternatives to taking a massive scale-up in investment in mental health as there is poor allocation of health budget on mental health. It should be given the priority to establish counselling center at every educational institute on urgent basis.
Moreover it is time to change our perception regarding our mental health and need to combat social stigma along with ensure the right support to those who have poor mental health . Session with a therapist should be reasonable. It is regretting that there are hardly any volunteer organizations working to make people conscious about mental health, which is a crying need.
However, autism expert and advisory council member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Saima Wazed Putul, the daughter of our prime minister is working relentlessly to ensure the mental well-being of the countrymen. But until our mentality is changed, it is very tough to address the issue in a befitting manner. More importantly, it should be stated that no health can be thought without mental health.
The writer teaches at Prime University