Mind Matters: Understanding Mental Health

15 flag
12 April, 2023

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental health illness is about a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Good mental health or being mentally sound would mean that one possesses a balanced mind, confidence, and self-esteem. A mental illness is a problem that significantly affects how a person thinks, perceives, and reacts.

There are different kinds of mental illnesses that vary in degrees and severity. It can be split into common mental illnesses and severe mental illnesses. Mental health illness can range from psychosis– which is a chemical imbalance in the body to neurosis– which is poor attitudinal learning during the growing or formative years.

Common Mental Health Illnesses include depression, Anxiety/Phobias, Eating Disorders and Stress. Severe Mental Health Illnesses Include Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder (Manic depression), Clinical depression, Suicidal tendency and Personality disorder.

Statistics show that 1 in every 5 individuals suffers from some form of mental health illness. 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Mental illness can be triggered by multiple factors. Complex interactions between mind, body and environment result in psychological disorders. Some of the factors are long term acute stress, biological factors, drug abuse and overdose, cognitive behaviour like constant negative thoughts, low energy, etc, social problems like financial problems, breakdowns, isolation, etc.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, an estimated 1 in 4 people will experience a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives. This represents a significant number of individuals worldwide.

In terms of specific disorders, depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health conditions globally. The WHO estimates that more than 264 million people worldwide are affected by depression, and over 284 million are affected by anxiety disorders.

Mental health was adversely affected during the COVID-19 outbreak as the first wave spread across the world in 2020. How did it happen?

  • Long periods of isolation
  • Frontline workers not being able to come physically close to their family members  
  • Loss of job  
  • Financial difficulty
  • Not being able to see or meet loved ones  
  • Alcohol and substance abuse due to stress
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Cloud of uncertainty  
  • Constantly worrying about getting infected and infecting people around you
  • Not being able to express oneself  
  • Having to work overtime, complete disruption of work-life balance
  • Losing loved ones due to the infection
  • Increase in domestic violence
  • Closed institutions  

Significant efforts were taken by the government to raise awareness and address issues earlier pushed aside due to fear of associated stigma. Many programs such as the National Mental Health Program, District Mental Health Program and mental health institutions such as the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences and Central Institute of Psychiatry encouraged people to reach out and seek assistance with the help of the national helpline number in times of need.

Mental illness can be treated with the right kind of support, for psychosis illnesses, the right medication under the right guidance is very important and for neurosis illness, getting good counselling, support and love from peers and family plays a crucial role. Reaching out or identifying these problems at an early stage is very important.


  • Share

    Get in Touch

    Fill your details in the form below and we will be in touch to discuss your learning needs
    Enter First Name
    Enter Last Name
    Image CAPTCHA
    Enter the characters shown in the image.

    I agree with Terms & Conditions.

    Do you want to hear about the latest insights, Newsletters and professional networking events that are relevant to you?