FROM the recent death of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, we have been partly enlightened on the magnitude of mental illness.
But sadly, when asked about mental health, most of us are not aware of its nature.
Let’s face it. We have all been there, whether it’s a massive or tiny emotional breakdown due to failure or loss of loved ones, stress, or any circumstances which do not necessarily require a label. We tend to bottle up these overwhelming emotional breakdowns or push them away by keeping ourselves occupied.
But how should we really tackle these issues which seem trivial but may advance into a life-threatening problem in the future? More importantly, how do we cope with it? Why is there not a subject on psychology, coping skills or problem-solving skills in schools/universities?
We need to be educated on the basics of common mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and depression and actively discuss the causative factors and solutions to overcome them.
Mental health should NOT be stigmatised or discriminated. We need to openly and regularly discuss these topics on social media, radio channels during school/university debates and at home. The stigma of mental illness can be defeated but we need to be holistically educated about the basics of mental health. It starts with acceptance, then acknowledgment and, finally, assurance.
NIREL KAUR HARBAN
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