The right to a good life is the fundamental right of every human being. And talking about a good life means a quality of life characterized by both physical and mental wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2019), around 90 million Indians are suffering from some form of mental health disorder, and this is only a reflection of those who have sought help. Which means the number could have been even larger considering the ones who have not taken professional help, due to some reasons. It is assumed that many people still consider mental health issues as a social stigma. The fast-paced lifestyle and Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation, adding to the mental health disturbances arising due to job retrenchments, pay-cuts, stress & anxiety arising due to virus threat, sleep disturbances, depression etc.
Yet, mental health is not a priority for a vast majority, which is a larger concern. This World Mental Health Day let us all do our bit in spreading awareness about mental health as an important part of wellbeing. This in turn will help people to broaden their mindsets and discuss issues related to mental health candidly, and thereby seek professional help, if needed.
What are the signs of mental health disorders?
In most cases, the mental health disorders / issues worsen / get severe as the initial indicative signs are ignored.
Example of few indicative signs of mental illness : abnormal eating habits, insomnia, fatigue, aloofness, lack of empathy, feeling of helplessness, substance abuse, mood swings, irritability, suicidal thoughts, inability to carry out daily routine activities, etc.
It is important to notice & consult a doctor if any of these signs persists for long. Once a proper diagnosis of mental illness has been ascertained through physical and psychological evaluations, and the type of illness and its severity is known, the right treatment can be followed at the earliest. Course of treatment may vary on case to case basis. It could be either psychotherapy, medication, alternate therapy, or a combination of all three. In all phases, constant care & support along with proper guidance certainly helps. Its important to consider that we all are different human beings, hence, what works for one person may not work for another, which compels to adhere to a proper medical consultation to make the right diagnosis and get the right treatment protocol.
How can we contribute?
It has been 30 years since the first World Mental Health Day was observed, still there is a long way to traverse in the progressive and right direction. In many cases, people with mental health challenges are unable to make decisions for themselves. In order to contribute our bit, we all should be reasonably observant; if a family member, friend, or a colleague seems disturbed or is not their usual self, then we should immediately extend help and support. Empathy is a key to peoples personal as well as professional fronts. We should also be sensitive that people suffering from any mental illness often seeks a constant assurance from family and friends to accept ones need and situation. With the little extra empathy and support, we can help the sufferer hop on the road to recovery.
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Mental Health and Health Insurance
Till September20, mental health was not covered under most of the regular indemnity health insurance plans. With the recent regulatory changes, the horizons of health insurance have widened. All health insurance plans offered by SBI General have been enhanced to include coverage for mental illness. Thereby, SBI General assures your complete suraksha aur bharosa dono.
By Shefali Khalsa, Head – Brand and Corporate Communications, SBI General Insurance