Rising need for mental health support in India

The importance of mental health needs to be inculcated early on in individuals to make it a practice for their everyday life

The fast-paced world we live in doesn’t leave us with much space for self-care. A term that a lot of us fail to include in our routine because we don’t even know what it entails. Well, simply put self-care is caring for oneself by making not just their physical but their mental health priority and working towards living comfortably in a sustainable lifestyle!

The importance of promoting mental health and wellbeing in Schools for students

The importance of mental health needs to be inculcated early on in individuals to make it a practice for their everyday life. Numerous schools are adapting a wholesome well-being model including not just physical but mental health and exercise a part of their curriculum. School counselors play a major role not just helping them work on their academics and careers but also teaching them how to have a healthy lifestyle beyond their books. Broken families, troubled relationships, abuse coupled with peer pressure need the right kind of support at the ground level. 

Anxiety, depression OCD have become commonly used terms that have lost the true sense and meaning becoming a trend among teenagers and adults to use as a cool hashtag, losing its authenticity and the suffering of individuals who suffer from clinically diagnosed disorders.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Schools

The stigma carried against mental health in our society is by and large a compelling drawback to accepting students with limitations, often failing to acknowledge the empathy and attention it deserves rather than the negative attention it draws to itself. Highlighting the importance of mental health awareness in institutions not just by practitioners but authorities in the school including faculty and staff is the need of the hour. 

Creating a School Environment that Supports Mental Health not only helps them understand the challenges of their students but empathize with their backgrounds and limitations while providing them an outlet to let off steam in a taxing work environment.

Often we forget that adults carry their own set of individual issues that are different from their personal or professional concerns, which tend to spill over onto their present day-to-day life. The extensive pressure on individuals slogging through competitive environments has slowly drained the life out of people even before they can realize it. The strife to maintain an effective work-life-balance has been long forgotten, with an active work culture dominating one’s lifestyle. This highlights the exceeding need for mental health awareness not just for children growing up but for adults who have grown up in an environment learning to side-line their needs before others as well. 

The growing trend of corporate wellness programs in India

Nowadays, a large number of corporates are taking initiatives to promote mental wellness for their employees. As statistics point out that poor mental health or “presenteeism” cost the economy as much as physical illnesses do. Corporates are looking out for their employees in terms of initiating personalized events that include team outings, breaks, family inclusion and packages that cover not just physical health but mental retreats and breaks as well. Workspaces now have retreat centers where their employees can “chill out” and take a break from their mundane routine of work. Meeting rooms are being replaced by game rooms and empty spaces are turning into meditation centers for their workers to take a break in peace. 

Companies are tying up with mental health organizations to conduct seminars and organize workshops along with providing one on one and group counseling services for their teams. Wellness that aims to help individuals improve their personal or professional lives offers a wide range of services to corporates and institutions for a healthier and resilient workforce and communities. A lot of corporates reach out for stress & anxiety helpline assistance or workshops to empower their employees.

Use of technology in the mental health space

While a lot of the stigma around mental health persists, we believe that the first step to change is acknowledging that change is needed. One step in the right direction is all we need to begin, and thankfully the adoption of counseling and emotional wellness centers at the workplace has been a first. Complementing that are provisions provided by technology, incorporating counseling through the comfort of your workspace or your home using online chat, call, and video call platforms. 

The changing scene around technology has brought about a revolution in the way mental health can be addressed. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a key player in developing from the traditional self-report assessments to advanced health monitoring systems. Recently a behavioral analysis firm Cognito Corp, launched an AI-based mobile mental health monitoring system that uses objective data analysis instead of subjective self-reports to identify defining symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders.

Voice analysis, physiological biomarkers and of course the core online counseling services provided to clients have become the game-changers in the field of therapy. 

Having said that, can AI or chatbots replace real therapists & health professionals? It can be answered by delving into a deeper problem- Can machine learning replace human touch & empathy? It seems implausible and contradictory for a core human need that is a real connection.

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Vikram Beri Mental Health Awareness


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