Pragya Sharma, M.Sc. Public Health (Global Health Track), Kathmandu University
Mental health is so much about people around us, we call this social support. Modern living and growing capitalism are encouraging individualism and a sense of independence in people, which is beneficial in certain ways but can also have negative effects such as an increase in arrogance among the individuals. People have begun to treat one another inhumanely in the name of independence. Homo sapiens must have fought alongside many other species in the early days of civilization in order to live, yet today, we are battling or oblivious to one another’s presence.
The World Health Organization defines mental health as a “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
These days, mental health is frequently discussed about, and this is crucial too. Huge investments are being made on research activities, interventions and programs targeted at improving the mental health of individuals. But until a human treats another in a human way, none of these will make sense. No matter how peaceful the external environment might be, if there are chaos inside one’s head, his/her mental health cannot be in good state. The most significant and effective method for a human to deal with the chaos can be another human’s emotional support. Requirement of such emotional and moral support from fellow humans is not only limited from the family members but also from those in the workplace, schools/colleges or even random streets. Being considerate towards each other doesn’t take a lot but contributes so much to people’s well-being, especially in today’s context of globalization where many live away from their families and close ones.
Humans have many similarities, yet everyone has a unique personality. Not everyone is an extrovert and good with confrontation or confession. If we are emotionally sensitive and empathetic enough to understand each other’s feelings, people do not have to suppress what they feel, be there for each other, one can ask others about how s/he feels. Doing all of this makes us humans, not stupid or an easy pick for manipulation. But unfortunately, today’s reality is much more about making fun of someone’s personality, treating someone differently because of his/her certain traits, making individuals feel excluded and simultaneously, advocating about good mental health.
If we are into improving mental health of humans, along with the research, interventions and programs, being more of a human by embracing human emotions rather than ignoring them, empathizing with fellow humans and moving towards a higher emotional intelligence are to be considered by every one of us.
Reference: Mental health. [cited 2023 Sep 8]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response.
Sharma, P. (2023). Humanity: The best medicine for improving mental health. Public Health Update. https://publichealthupdate.com/humanity-the-best-medicine-for-improving-mental-health/
- The Mental Health Atlas 2020
- World Mental Health Day 2021: Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality!
- The WHO and Angry Birds Friends team up for World Mental Health Day
- Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013 – 2030
- National Mental Health Strategy & Action Plan 2077
- National Mental Health Survey, Nepal-2020 Fact Sheet
- Mental health status among health workers in Nepal during COVID-19 pandemic (Policy brief)
- Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak