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Building stable Mental Health: How does Mental Health awareness help you?

Team AckoJun 19, 2024

Increased mental health awareness is crucial for understanding and addressing mental health symptoms, seeking professional help, and eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness. By promoting awareness programs, more individuals can recognise the signs of mental health issues, facilitating early intervention and treatment. 

This not only improves individual well-being but also fosters a supportive environment where people feel comfortable seeking help without fear of judgement. 

Ending the stigma associated with mental illness encourages open conversations and empathy, reducing the isolation and suffering experienced by many. Ultimately, increased awareness of mental health promotes a society where everyone's mental well-being is valued and prioritised, leading to healthier individuals and communities. This article aims to shed more light on the importance of mental health awareness and how it can help you.





What is mental health awareness?

Mental health awareness is being aware of a mental health issue and seeking the necessary treatment in time or supporting your loved one to seek help when you see symptoms of a mental health issue. It is crucial to be aware of your overall health in order to recognize any signs and, if necessary, seek professional assistance. Many people are unaware of how to care for their mental health, although they are aware of symptoms and treatment for even the most minor issues like the common cold, flu, etc. It is a common notion that mental illness is a modern-world problem. However, that’s not the case; people have suffered from some sort of mental health issue throughout history. The difference is, currently, there’s greater mental health awareness as compared to previous decades.

How does mental health awareness help you?

Awareness of mental illness benefits not only you but also the people around you. Your family, friends, and coworkers will benefit from knowing more about mental health conditions. Here are 3 of the main reasons why mental health awareness proves to be helpful.

  • You learn to recognise your symptoms better.

Many people with mental illness are unaware that an undiagnosed and untreated disease causes their problems. Therefore, becoming more aware of mental health issues can help you better understand the symptoms.  Even though the symptoms of each mental health disorder vary, here are some warning signs to watch out for.

  • Less or disturbed sleeping

  • Feeling helpless or trapped

  • Reduced appetite

  • Getting addicted to drugs or alcohol to cope with stress

  • Impulsive behaviour

You may have a mental health problem that needs medical treatment if you haven't been feeling like yourself lately. It is necessary to seek help as the signs of mental illness can harm your emotional and physical well-being.

  • You overcome the stigma of mental health

One can significantly overcome the stigma associated with needing mental health care with the help of awareness. Remember, getting diagnosed with a mental health problem does not make you "crazy."

In reality, millions of people all around the country are impacted by mental health. You will understand that you are not alone once you receive the appropriate mental health care and learn more about these disorders. 

  • You understand the available means of support in case of a mental disorder

It is difficult for patients to recuperate without access to mental health services. Mental health awareness helps you know what means are available when you are in need. 

The following are some of the critical mental health resources.

  • Medical facilities where mental health disorders are treated.

  • Rehabilitation centres where addictions are treated.

  • Psychiatric clinics.

All the tools you need to recover from recurring mental disorders, treat mental health concerns, and learn how to maintain your health following treatment are available at mental health facilities. Additionally, you can be safe in a medical care facility where you are surrounded by experts and caregivers. You can thus recover faster and resume your daily life.

How can we promote mental health awareness?

Individuals play a crucial role in promoting mental health awareness within their communities. Speaking openly about mental health experiences and prioritising mental well-being sets a powerful example. By advocating for mental health and being transparent about taking time off for self-care, individuals can challenge the stigma surrounding mental health struggles. 

Additionally, educating oneself about mental health conditions, recognising warning signs, and sharing relevant resources with others can foster a supportive environment. Engaging in conversations about mental health with peers and colleagues and even seeking guidance from professional coaches demonstrates a commitment to personal growth and encourages others to prioritise their mental well-being. 

Ultimately, through proactive self-advocacy and continuous learning, individuals can contribute to creating a culture where mental health is valued and openly discussed.

Mental health stigmas

Mental health stigma arises from a combination of fear and misunderstanding, leading to negative perceptions of individuals struggling with mental health issues. 

Types of stigma

  • Public stigma

Public stigma manifests as negative attitudes held by society towards mental illness. It often results in discrimination, marginalisation, and social exclusion of individuals with mental health conditions. This type of stigma can perpetuate misconceptions and hinder efforts to seek help and support.

  • Self-stigma

Self-stigma refers to the negative attitudes individuals with mental illness harbour towards themselves. This internalised stigma can lead to feelings of shame, low self-esteem, and reluctance to seek treatment. Those affected may internalise societal stereotypes, further exacerbating their distress and inhibiting recovery.

  • Institutional stigma

Institutional stigma encompasses systemic barriers within private and government agencies that limit access to mental health treatment and resources. Actions such as reducing funding for mental health research or implementing discriminatory policies contribute to institutional stigma, exacerbating the challenges faced by individuals seeking support and treatment.

Addressing mental health stigma

Addressing mental health stigma requires a multifaceted approach that involves education, advocacy, and support. Qualified counsellors play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate and cope with the stigmas they encounter, including self-stigma. Through counselling, individuals can develop coping strategies, challenge negative beliefs, and build resilience in the face of societal prejudices. 

Additionally, raising awareness, promoting empathy, and fostering open discussions about mental health can help dismantle stereotypes and create a more supportive and inclusive environment for all individuals affected by mental illness. By addressing both public and self-stigma, society can work towards reducing barriers to treatment and ensuring that everyone has access to the support they need to thrive.

Potential treatment for mental illness

Like any other physical disorders, there are many different types of mental health disorders; and the treatment varies based on the disorder. Recently, there has been considerable development when it comes to the treatment of mental illness. As a result, many mental health conditions can now be treated with almost as much success as physical conditions. 

The majority of mental health condition treatments fall into one of two categories.

  1. Somatic treatments: Drugs, electroconvulsive therapy, and other forms of brain-stimulating therapy are examples of somatic treatments.

  2. Psychotherapeutic treatments: Individual, group, family, and marital psychotherapy, behaviour therapy methods such as relaxation or exposure therapy, and hypnosis are all examples of psychotherapeutic treatments.

Studies show that, rather than using a single method of treatment, combining both yields better results.

Early signs & symptoms

Recognising early warning signs of mental health issues is crucial. Signs include changes in sleep or appetite, withdrawal from usual activities, low energy, feelings of hopelessness, increased substance use, mood swings, persistent thoughts, hallucinations, and thoughts of self-harm. Difficulty carrying out daily tasks is also a concern. Seeking support and professional help early can make a significant difference in managing mental health challenges.

Mental disorders that need more awareness

According to the National Mental Health Survey 2015–16 (NMHS), the most recent and comprehensive study of Indians' mental health, more than 13% of Indians experience health issues at least once in their life. 

Common conditions that require greater awareness are.

  1. Depression: According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, India is home to at least 57 million people who suffer from depression.

  2. Bipolar mood disorder: According to the NMHS, bipolar affective disorders account for 0.3% of all ailments in India.

  3. Anxiety disorder: According to the NMHS data, phobic anxiety disorders (anxiety brought on by extreme fear) make up approximately 2% of the disease burden in India, while other anxiety disorders account for an additional 1.2%.

  4. Schizophrenia: According to one estimate, schizophrenia affects three out of every 1,000 Indians; the illness affects men more frequently than women.

  5. Eating disorder: Worldwide, Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2015) frequently struggle with eating disorders. Teenagers in India are also becoming victims of this mental illness, despite the fact that it is more common in western countries.

Although the symptoms of each of these mental health issues vary, they can have an effect on every aspect of your life. Actually, how you feel, think, and act depends on your mental health. Your social, professional, and personal lives may all be significantly hampered as a result. Thus, it is important to spread more awareness about common mental health issues.

Tips for encouraging better mental health

Here are some helpful tips that can encourage you and others to improve mental health.

1) Make time for yourself.

Usually, people, especially working professionals, ask for a holiday only when they are not feeling physically well. It is a rare scenario where a person has applied for leave just to take a break from the routine or when they are feeling down mentally. Stable mental health needs a relaxed mind, away from a hectic schedule. Small breaks may help in improving your mental state.

2) Gather more information on mental health

Spend some time learning about mental fitness and health.  Discover the symptoms of burnout, typical mental health issues, and how to look after yourself if you start to experience symptoms. Keeping an eye on your warning signs might help you recognise when you're beginning to feel triggered or overwhelmed. 

3) Get help from a professional

If your symptoms are no longer manageable, then you must seek professional help as soon as possible. Look at it like going to a doctor to get treatment for a severe cough. You cannot spend nights coughing and in pain. You would need treatment, say cough syrup. Similarly, you must not suffer alone because of a mental disorder.

Moreover, these treatments are confidential, and your records will remain safe in the custody of your medical professional. Remember that the symptoms will not subside on their own. You must seek help.

How to live well with a mental health condition?

Living with a mental health condition can pose challenges in various aspects of life, including work, school, relationships, and self-care. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy, supported by tools and strategies for self-care and coping. It's crucial to stick to a treatment plan, communicate with healthcare providers, and stay informed about the condition. 

Practising self-care, maintaining relationships, and developing coping skills are essential for managing stress and maintaining overall well-being. Additionally, prioritising good sleep hygiene is crucial, as adequate sleep plays a significant role in mental health. By integrating these tips and strategies into their daily lives, individuals can improve their mental health outcomes and pursue their goals with confidence and resilience.

KIRAN, a different perspective

The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry created a 24/7 toll-free helpline to assist those who are experiencing mental health problems like stress, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Contact the KIRAN helpline at 1800-599-0019 if you need to speak with someone.

Frequently asked questions

The following is a list of some common questions and answers about mental health awareness.

What does a healthy mind entail?


The absence of mental illness is only one aspect of having good mental health. It denotes a condition of well-being in which you feel good and performs well in social situations. The World Health Organization defines good mental health as the capacity to manage daily pressures.

Is it possible to treat mental health conditions?


Yes, it is possible to treat mental health conditions. Treatments, including medication, psychotherapy, complementary therapies, or brain stimulation therapy, can improve symptoms of mental health illnesses.

For how many days does a person have a mental illness?


While some people may only experience a single "episode" of mental illness that lasts a few days, weeks, or months, others may have chronic problems that do not improve and might need medical treatment.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. As this content piece is not vetted by a medical professional, please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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