Time to glamourise talks about mental health

Time to glamourise talks about mental health

Mental health, in a nutshell, is our state of mind. It comprises our emotional, psychological and social well-being and affects how we think, feel, react and live life. Just because our mental health is invisible doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In today's day and age, our focus needs to be on health 360, where we take care of our physical and mental healthcare, as we can only be truly healthy when the mind and the body are in good condition.

On World Mental Health Day, Minu Budhia, psychotherapist and founder of 'Caring Minds' (Institute of Mental Health), who herself has successfully battled depression, said, "Mental health must be a part of our everyday conversation - at our breakfast tables, in our conference and living rooms - till talking about it becomes ordinary. We not only need to destigmatise it, but rather glamourise it by making it the talk of the town in a positive manner. Mentioning a session with your counsellor/therapist should feel no more scandalous or hush-hush than mentioning a hair salon appointment. It's high time we opened our hearts, homes and offices to start a conversation about our minds. Because you matter. Your mental health matters."

Just like the body can hurt from physical injuries, the mind can hurt from emotional trauma. Just like the body can be exhausted from overwork, the mind can also get exhausted from overthinking. Just like our body needs rest, so does our mind. And just like people go to the doctor for physical health-related issues, they need to go to a psychiatrist when they are struggling with their emotional or mental health. But people don't.

If people are okay to share physical ailments with friends and family, why is it all 'hush-hush' when it comes to mental health? It's because of the cloud of guilt, shame and fear surrounding mental healthcare that has persisted over generations. This is what makes outreach and awareness about mental health so important. People need to break the stigma of 'Log kya kahenge' (What will people say)?"

Especially in 2022, in a post-pandemic world, one shouldn't feel any shame in asking for help. It's the bravest action one can take to improve their life.

Labelling people with mental health issues as 'paagal' or brushing the issue under the carpet because we don't want to admit it is no longer an option. As caring family and friends, people must get their loved ones and themselves the help they need.

Accepting ourselves as we are and being okay with it is the key to living a healthy life and sometimes, we need help and guidance to do this. Psychological counselling is when an unbiased, trained mental health professional, using psychological tests and therapies, helps us deal with personal and psychological problems. However, it isn't instant 'Maggi'. It takes at least six to eight sessions to start seeing the changes and the person in therapy must be committed to making a change in their life. Both patience and resilience are essential.

According to Minu, it's also a misconception that one must be suffering from severe mental health issues to get therapy. Therapy is for anyone at any stage of their life. While those with clinical issues such as depression, anxiety, OCD, dementia and Alzheimer's require counselling, one can even go to a counsellor to deal with stress, grief, menopause, loneliness, anger, low self-esteem or even vent in a safe space.

"During my travels to find Prachi (my younger daughter, a special-needs child with ADHD, low IQ and bipolar disorder) the best treatment and education, I was running from pillar to post, city and country. It dawned upon me that there was no single centre that addressed all issues related to the mind. I realised that the need of the hour was an institute of mental health that would provide easily accessible, affordable, A-Z mental healthcare under one roof. This dream gave birth to 'Caring Minds'," said Minu Budhia.

'Caring Minds' is a super-speciality institute of mental health established in 2013 under the leadership of Minu Budhia. It's a one-stop solution for all issues related to psychological health.

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