The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday launched the Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week, which will culminate with the World Mental Health Day on October 10, to raise awareness on mental health issues and mobilise efforts to support mental health.
The Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week is being observed with an aim to encourage people’s participation to break the stigma surrounding mental disorders.
To mark the beginning of the Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released the UNICEF’s ‘State of the World’s Children Report’ on Tuesday.
The report takes a comprehensive look at the mental health of children, adolescents and caregivers in the 21st century. As highlighted in the report, the Covid-19 pandemic has had significant impact on children’s mental health.
Mandaviya highlighted the importance of mental health as being intrinsic to physical health and wellness and said that the health of the body and mind is inseparable in Indian traditions of medicine, which emphasise on holistic health.
The minister noted that teachers are very important stakeholders for addressing mental health issues along with parents and family members. Family members and teachers should have open consultations with children from a position of mutual trust and respect, he said.
The UNICEF report was launched globally on Tuesday, which details the significant impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health.
Describing the significance of the report, Mandaviya said, “Mental health is both an old issue and an emerging one. While our traditional systems of medicine thoroughly emphasise on holistic health and complete well-being, mental health problems in developing countries like India are on the rise.”
The minister explained how children and adolescents in joint family get a chance to interact with a wide number of other family members who they can open up to in times of emotional distress and seek guidance on matters, which are at times avoided by parents.
The culture of nuclear families has led to the increase in alienation and the consequent rise in mental distress, he added.