‘Woh pagal hai’ (He is mad), is how we refer to a mentally-ill person. Unfortunately, we don’t pay enough attention to our mental health. In trying to physically appear attractive and smart, we tend to ignore the internal well-being. It is important for all of us to ensure that we are mentally sound and capable of functioning normally.
India has a deficit of trained psychologists/psychiatrists, though. We have around five to seven thousand psychiatrists in India, that’s all. Worse still, we only have a handful of psychologists trained in treating severe trauma cases. For a population of around 125 crore, we fall tragically short.
Dr. Kersi Chavda explains, “An anxiety-ridden or a depressed patient is usually given tips like, ‘snap out of it’, ‘go for a movie and you will be fine’, or ‘just cheer up’, without realising that these are diseases and they need treatment from qualified doctors. We don’t realise the importance of mental health, and we consider stress and sadness a part of our lives. Just like sex, mental illness is a taboo for many people. We just don’t talk about it because there is not enough awareness.
Trained psychologists like Dr. Sanjoy Mukerji, Dr. Kersi Chavda, and Seema Hingorrany are few of the modern-day psychologists are doing their bit in helping those who need attention, but it’s not even close to enough.
Dr. Sanjoy Mukerji, a psychologist based in Mumbai, has won many national and international awards and along with his peers, is attacking the dogma associated with mental illness. Dr. Seema is perhaps the youngest therapist in Mumbai, doing a commendable job with child and adolescent psychology, something for which she has been recognised and acknowledged.
We need people to help people. We need to destroy the outdated thinking and ask for help if need be. If we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody else will. Except doctors like Sanjoy Ghosh and Seema, of course!
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