World Mental Health Day 2019: Why it is celebrated and its importance

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It's time to give our mental health the attention it deserves

Phrases like ‘you’re overthinking’, ‘everything is going to be fine’, ‘why can’t you just be happy’ and ‘depression is not real’ is the reason why mental health should be celebrated and how imperative it is for people to become more empathic towards mental illnesses.

Since ages, people having mental illness have been treated as aliens and are outcasted because who wants to deal with sad people. The apathy people show towards mental illnesses is both unfortunate and dangerous.

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Feelings of loneliness, fear of abandonment, feeling depressed and having no hope left are a few symptoms of mental illnesses. Mental health is just like physical health, it needs to be treated.

World Federation for Mental Health announced 10th October as World Mental Health Day in 1992 and celebrates it with a new theme every year. This year, the initiative is being supported by the World Health Organisation, the International Association for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health.

Every year about 800,000 people die due to suicide, which makes it one suicide every 40 seconds. Hence, this year’s theme is “40 seconds of action”. The objective is to raise awareness about these numbers.

India makes up for 17% of the world’s population, and also records a high number of suicidal deaths.

Here are a few findings about mental health:

1. In India, around 2.2 lakh people die by suicide every year.

2. Most suicide deaths happen between people of age groups 15 to 39.

3. India has the third-highest female suicide rate (14.7%) in the world.

4. For every 225,000 people there’s only one psychiatrist available.

5. Improving mental health facilities is a key part of the Sustainable Development Goals which are a part of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda.

6. India has the highest suicide rate in South-East Asia.

7. In India, the state of Maharashtra has the highest suicide rate despite being one of the most advanced states.

8. Three to ten people in every 1000 people have severe mental issue in India.

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