ANUKURAM ARTICLE Mental Health

Topics: Mental health, Psychiatry, Mental disorder Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: November 11, 2014
Enigma behind Stigma
Mental Health soul of Physical Health

Mental health problems are among the most common facets of ill health. They place a heavy burden on individuals, their families and friends and the community at large. World Health Organization estimates that 10% of the world's population has some form of mental disability and 1% suffers from severe incapacitating mental disorders1.

Mental health problems are treated as if our thoughts and feelings are separate from our physical bodies. This artificial distinction is reflected in our thinking and language as well as in the provision of health services. Majority of population are still living in deprived conditions not able to receive basic health facilities yet. The conditions of mental health sufferers are worst in our country because of stigma attached and many other reasons. The inequality of public health in India is highlighted by the fact that a large number of persons suffering from Mental Disorders still not getting sufficient Medical as well as Psychosocial Rehabilitation facilities. This failure has resulted lack of understanding among community, the serious problem of the social stigma that the patients and their families have to face, and the most important failure is inability to develop effective linkages with the community.

Definition of Mental Health

Mental health is defined 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 community2.

The word Stigma means.

Stigma, by definition, is a mark of disgrace or shame. Stigma has four components3: Labeling someone with a condition
Stereotyping people who have that condition
Creating a division — a superior "us" group and a devalued "them" group, resulting in loss of status in the community Discriminating against someone on the basis of their label...
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