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Mental Health: Why still a challenge

Stigma, discrimination and neglect are barriers towards seeking help for mental health concerns.It’s not surprising to know that many people with mental health issues don’t seek treatment for their concerns. According to WHO, nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a mental health professional. Ever pondered, what keeps people away from seeking help for mental health issues? Some of the reasons that prevent people from obtaining mental health services:-

  • Fear and shame: People know there is stigma in the society for having a mental illness and this is reason why they don’t want to be labelled as “mentally ill” or “crazy.” They may also have concerns about how such a label could negatively impact their career, education, or other life goals which in turn keep them away from seeking help.

  • Lack of insight: We may hear people saying that “there’s nothing wrong with me,” “I’m not sick,” or “I don’t need any help,” this signals a severe lack of insight. We can often see this in patients suffering from schizophrenia.

  • Limited awareness: A person may acknowledge some mental health concerns but can lack full awareness of their significance or really don’t understand they have an actual illness. They may ignore or minimise their issues and say “everyone gets stressed out” or “my problems aren’t that bad”.

  • Sign of inadequacy: Many people believe they are inadequate or a failure if they have to admit something is “wrong” with their mental health. Further, they believe that they must be weak or inferior if ask for help.

  • Distrust: Many people express concern about “telling a stranger” about their problems. Additionally, they worry that their personal information won’t be kept confidential.

  • Hopelessness: Some people have become demoralised by their mental health issues and believe “nothing will help me” or “I’ll never get better.” These beliefs can be due to depression or hopelessness, and can be barriers to seek help.

  • Practical barriers: Another common barrier to mental health care is inability to pay for treatment due to financial constraints. Not having reliable transportation and appointments for treatment that conflict with work or school schedules can also prevent someone from seeking treatment.

Let’s Pledge to break the stigma &seek help, when needed!!

Let’s be responsible for our mental health!!

(Author can be contacted on )

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