- World Mental Health Day 2016 is celebrated on
October 10th and aimed at raising awareness about mental health.
- The theme for this year is "Dignity in Mental Health -
Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All"
- Providing psychological first aid should be treated on par
with first aid for physical ailments.
World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10th
of October every year to highlight issues related to mental health. Mental health
is an often ignored aspect of
health, with many people failing to acknowledge deteriorating mental health.
In most hospitals and
among the General public, there is immediate first aid that is afforded to
people with physical injuries, however, mental health patients rarely receive
psychological first aid during times of extreme trauma.
‘Listening to people in distress is the first step in psychological first aid’
The theme for World
Mental Health Day 2016 is "Dignity in Mental Health - Psychological &
Mental Health First Aid for All" The aim is to help people understand the
importance of psychological first aid, just like cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR) is important for cardiovascular emergency.
Rising Mental Health
There is an increase in
the prevalence of mental health conditions
the world due to
- Natural disasters that lead to mass
destruction and the loss of lives. A large number of people are left without
homes and are psychologically affected by the loss of their dear ones, most of
whom may have witnessed the tragedy themselves, leaving them completely
- Loss of a dear one, which could be due to
natural causes or due to pre-meditated efforts.
down huge companies could lead to loss of jobs that can affect the mental
health of many employees and their families.
political situation that could lead to civil wars and coups.
All these situations
lead to massive changes in emotional and mental health, requiring support from
people to help the victims overcome their tragedy.
Taking Mental Health
Out Of The Shadows
Mental health is considered a taboo and is
rarely talked about, which snowballs the condition into a more severe condition.
The importance of treating mental health is to identify that it exists and to
provide the necessary support.
Every 40 seconds,
according to the World Federation of Mental Health, someone commits suicide.
This alarmingly high figure can be controlled by active participation of the
general community in addressing issues pertaining to mental health and to carry
out psychological first aid that would help lower the suicide figure.
In the Indian context,
the joint family system was an effective means of promoting better mental
health and counseling; however, with nuclear families breaking out of the
mould, psychological support is found lacking.
Psychological First Aid
- Provide non-intrusive care and
support to the person or family in need.
- Be a good
listener, helping them open up about the disaster at their own pace and without
forcing them to talk.
- Providing basic needs like water,
food, shelter and clothes.
- Calming them and being
available when they need to talk.
- Finding out about
services and organizations that could help and connecting victims to these
- Protecting the victims from further
- World Mental Health Day 2016 - (https://www.icrc.org/en/document/world-mental-health-day-2016)
- Psychological First Aid - (http://www.nctsn.org/content/psychological-first-aid)