Is your mind healthy? The mind is “trending”. Phrases like “self-care”, “mental health”, and “burnout” are common, when they were almost unknown outside the medical community as little as five years ago. While it is good that conditions of the mind are now in the public consciousness, the concept of mental health and the silence surrounding it still affects numerous cultures across the world. In addition, the all-too-human tendency to oversimplify, combined with the current practice of trying to fit even complex concepts into “tweetable” headlines gives a dangerous combination. We need to step back from all the confusion and calmly appraise the basic criteria of mental health. What exactly is mental health? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “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.” Further, the WHO stresses that mental health “is not just the absence of mental disorder.” Now that we know the official definition of mental health, let’s look at the ground reality and real-world issues that people with mental health issues face. As much as we think otherwise, health is not developed in a vacuum. Similar to physical health, there are several factors, such as social, psychological, and biological, that have a direct bearing on a person’s mental health. Living in a relatively peaceful and economically prosperous environment does not ensure complete mental stability and health, but there are clear evidences that violence and socio-economic problems can put an individual’s mental health at risk. Home Healthcare Services, in such situations have shown positive results. A few Home Healthcare Companies offer psychiatric home nurses, occupational therapists, home health aides and social workers who visit the patient diagnosed with mental illness at their home. Stressful work conditions, an unhealthy lifestyle, and actual physical diseases are some additional factors that can lead to mental health problems, full time home care givers help an individual manage a good lifestyle. Mental Health is also a common problem in older adults of India. Depression, mood disorders, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder are some of the most common mental illnesses encountered. In-home senior care services have shown a massive improvement in such cases. Care givers for elders provide care in a wide range of activities, such as managing medication, serving as a companion, preparing prescribed meals, dressing, bathing and grooming, bringing a transformation in one's mental health. The presence of mental health issues looms large on the global stage. Data from the WHO itself states that almost 10% of the total presence of disease worldwide comprises mental diseases. Mental diseases can often catch them young. It is approximated that 20% of children/teenagers suffer from some kind of mental disorder. The kings of the mental health jungle are anxiety and depression. These cause disease, disability, and, in extreme cases, even death. Thankfully, there are strategies in place to cope with this issue, even at the global level. The WHO has designated 10 October as World Mental Health Day worldwide. Each year, they focus on a distinct mental health issue. For World Mental Health Day 2019, the core topic was suicide prevention. This is barely the surface of the issue, however. In future articles, we will explore each of the finer aspects of these many issues and take a deeper dive into the issues that cause them and how to manage them.
Better health care starts at home