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Mental health issues, at this point, cannot be considered as personal issues anymore. We are now living in an age of hustle, competitiveness, and pressure to establish ourselves, and if our mental health is not taken care of, it will suffer. And this suffering is reality of millions of individuals. To make it worse we aren’t even aware that we are suffering due to lack of awareness.

As soon as we start thinking or comprehending this world, in some way, we start feeling the worldly pressure to establish ourselves, please people around us, along with that we have our own story of "not so pleasant experiences" that add up to our vulnerability. A vulnerability that one must hide, one should never address because this vulnerability will show how weak we are therefore one should hide it, keep themselves busy and forget the pain rather than healing it or addressing it.

To cope with all of these, we develop defence or coping mechanisms such as "people pleasing", "self-sabotaging", "repressing our feelings, memories, or emotions" or perhaps simply ignoring ourselves for the sake of peace which ultimately lead to issues in the long run. Issues without solutions.

We have many solutions or at least are trying to come up with a wide variety of solutions for many modern problems, but mental health issues have always been underestimated unless the issue leads to a crisis. Instead of finding solutions, we tend to normalize these issues, which gives rise to toxic environments, problematic behaviours of people, unnecessary complexities in relationships, mass aggression, and unhealthy educational cultures.

In the beginning, when we look at mental health problems, it may appear like everything is very personal. However, once we start understanding the problem, we will find that mental health concerns are caused by the vicious circle of interaction between an individual and society.

Let's take the example of toxic education culture, where the purpose of education is not development or learning, but to compare who is better than whom. In these settings, children are graded, and based on their grades, they are assigned ranks in class. Rank determines how they are treated in class or in society. There will be numerous negative effects on students if this mind-set is promoted, as the ones who are not able to perform well will not only feel pressured but will also experience lower self-esteem, resulting in hopelessness or may develop a self-handicapping defence mechanism. In extreme cases it may lead to anxiety or depression. Likewise, those who are doing well may suffer from imposter syndrome (the feeling that nothing they do is good enough) as a result of excessive competitiveness, or they may feel too pressured to hold onto their positions no matter what or they may become too selfabsorbed that they focus on themselves alone, and in the long run, they become overbearing or unable to handle failures.

This rank based culture does not create learned individuals or motivate people to gain knowledge, rather it makes them rank oriented or number oriented. When these children become adults, they either have low self-esteem, feel lost in life, can't handle failure well, or suffer from imposter syndrome. In the worst cases, they may even believe this is normal and promote this view. Therefore, the cycle will repeat itself with upcoming generations. Now while keeping a child’s mental health in our mind if we develop a healthy learning environment where the children are not ranked but graded and every time their grade improve even a little, we as a system encourage them and when they face difficulties in learning, instead of discouraging them by comparing them to their peers/siblings or by insulting them, we try to help them out or understand their problem, it will help them to learn. To complement this, we can encourage children to help each other rather than instil unhealthy competition in them, and rather than pressuring children over grades, we should make them aware of the importance of learning what they are receiving. And while growing up we should make them aware how vast and unpredictable this world is therefore everything that happens in life is a part of life not the life itself. No matter what we do in our lives, our job, success, failure, or any other event in our lives, nothing defines us or defines who we are. Your actions do impact your life, but the impact is ever-changing, and you always have the power to bring about the changes you desire.

Here, the education system is emphasized because our education has a huge impact on us as we receive it at an early age and it shapes who we are as individuals. Therefore, if we are to bring about change, it should commence from the very start.

In addition to this toxic education culture, there are countless other cultures or practices present in our society or in our day-to-day lives that negatively affect our mental health. To be honest, it's really difficult to change everything that's prevalent in society, so mental health awareness is essential in our society. Upon being aware of the positive practices, we will often avoid or at least try to avoid the negative practices, knowing what their consequences are. When we are suffering, if there is awareness, seeking help won't be a stigma or matter of shame anymore. People won't look down on people who reach out for help or mistreat them either.

It is truly sad that people believe suffering or dying is more respectable or worthy than taking assistance.

Most people are unaware of what they are going through and a little professional help can make things a whole lot better and we have to make people understand that, worsening mental peace or stability is not a phase, but a call for help from our mind; therefore, seek it out before it’s too late. Unless there is a right intervention at right time by a right person, no one can be saved. Therefore mental health awareness is important. Not only when a person is at a dead end, but awareness is important even to prevent people from going down that path.

Having awareness will create more professionals that we are commendably lacking even in today's world.

Let me offer some alarming statistics to demonstrate why mental health ignorance is a matter that should be addressed. Though these data were collected and compiled in 2019 and before, the condition hasn't improved much yet.

  • In one of the study of Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and report in their flagship Global Burden of Disease study. It was stated that “For 2017 the study estimates that 792 million people lived with a mental health disorder. This is slightly more than one in ten people globally (10.7%)”

  • In one of the article from a blog named “Our Better Health” it is stated that, “Mental health conditions are expected to be the second biggest health problem in Malaysia by 2020, after cardiovascular disease. A national survey by Malaysia's Ministry of Health found that nearly a third of Malaysian adults aged 16 and older (29.2%) have a mental health condition, up from 11.2% in 2006. Amongst Malaysian youth aged 13 to 17, one in five have depression, two in five have anxiety and one in 10 has stress. An alarming 10.1 per cent of youths have also attempted to take their lives. There are four psychiatric mental hospitals providing mental health and psychiatric services throughout Malaysia. There are 410 psychiatrists in the public and private sectors, or 1.27 psychiatrist for every 100,000 residents.”

  • In the Philippines, 3.3 million Filipinos live with depressive disorders, with suicides rates of 2.5 males and 1.7 females per 100,000 persons, according to the Department of Health.

  • “Nine million Indonesians, or 3.7 per cent of the population, suffer from depression. Every hour, someone in Indonesia takes his or her own life. This astonishing figure of 3.4 suicides per 100,000 people in Indonesia was reported by the World Population Review. About 19 per cent of Indonesian youth have had suicidal thoughts, and 45 per cent of them have admitted to self-harm. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world (around 270 million people) but has only around 800 psychiatrists (0.3 psychiatrist per 100,000), 450 psychologists and 48 mental health facilities. Accessibility to such services is a problem. Nearly half of all psychiatrists work in Jakarta. Also, there are 34 provinces in Indonesia, but more than half of the 48 mental health facilities are located in just four provinces. In addition to these, there is the practice of "Pasung" (the method of chaining the individuals those who shows the signs of mental illness) to add to the problem.

  •  “In December 2017, India President Ram Nath Kovind warned of a potential “mental health epidemic” in India, with 10 per cent of its 1.3 billion-strong population having suffered from one or more mental health problems. According to WHO, India accounted for nearly 15 per cent of the global mental, neurological and substance abuse disorder burden. A meta-analysis of community surveys estimate that the prevalence of depression and anxiety could be up to 33 per 1,000 persons. In India, the treatment gap (the number of people with an illness who need treatment but do not get it) is 70 to 92 per cent, depending on the state. It is estimated that nearly onethird of patients who seek help from healthcare facilities could have symptoms related to depression. But poor awareness of mental health symptoms, social stigma, and lack of adequate resources and facilities stop people from getting the help they need. There are only 5,000 psychiatrists in India, or 0.3 for every 100,000 persons, and less than 2,000 clinical psychologists (0.07 per 100,000). To compare, the ratio of psychiatrists in developed countries is 6.6 per 100,000 and the average number of mental hospitals globally is 0.04 per 100,000 persons, compared to 0.004 in India. Also, mental health services are highly inaccessible and up to 40 per cent of patients must travel more than 10km to reach the first available service at the district headquarters.”

According to the data presented above, these are the few countries that are in a dystopian situation, and with increasing area considered, the situation gets worse. However, countries like Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Germany are doing relatively well, whereas countries like India, China, and South Korea etc. should be more concerned with the mental well-being of their citizens.


A discussion of the problem alone is not sufficient; we must also look for the solutions, so we should engage together in this endeavour.

Here are a few possible solutions in this context:

  1. It is important to introduce psychology or mental health awareness in schools as a separate subject or perhaps as a chapter so children are made aware of psychological issues and the influence their minds have on their bodies or lives.

  2. In the society, mental health professionals should be available in each and every institution, be it at educational institutions, industries, the entertainment industry, or any other kind of institution. Their input must be put to practical use.

  3. In order to increase the number of institutions that provide psychological assistance, the government should increase the amount of financial aid available for mental health facilities.

  4. Mental illness and related issues should be brought to the public's attention, especially in rural areas, so that people can seek the right treatment and refrain from eccentric rituals and malpractices.

  5. Media or other mass communication sources should help to normalize seeking psychological help even when the problem is not serious. One need not be suffering from schizophrenia, depression, or other serious disorders to seek psychological help. Even when we feel down or chaotic or simply unheard, we can call or visit a mental health professional.

  6. We should prohibit the practice of psychology without adequate knowledge of it because it does not help but enhances or triggers the problem and stigma against psychology. The following example will illustrate my point:

    Suppose a person who is not a doctor or has no prior knowledge of medicine prescribes a medicine for every health related issue. And people out of trust or blind faith consume those medicines. What do you think will happen? When the issue is not severe enough, people will most likely heal on their own, but if they aren't lucky, their condition will get worse to the point where there's no turning back. Therefore, when the issue is serious, one should seek professional help.

    In the same way, not everyone can provide psychological assistance. Speakers or motivators are great at inspiring people, but psychologists and psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose people, understand their problems, and provide appropriate treatment. Hence, one must consult with a mental health professional if seeking psychological assistance. Psychology is a very complicated field that should not be misused by people with little or no knowledge of it. In the long run, it creates misleading mind-sets, stigmatizes the subject, and causes numerous problems.

The importance of mental health is not just a trend or a social media sensation, it is a reality and people need to be taught how to care for their mental well-being in their dayto-day lives. If the incidents of suicide, depression, violence, anger, people beating each other to death, or companies putting their employees to work until they are numb aren't eye opening enough I don't know what is.

Having true mental health awareness will not completely resolve these problems, but it

will aid individuals in learning how to deal with all of them. It will enhance empathy in individuals and perhaps in the long run it will make people more empathetic towards each other. Most importantly, mental health awareness will make individuals realise that they are not alone in their struggles. It will help them realize that they are not weak or ill because of themselves or their fault. Instead, they got hurt or are unable to do something because of the situation they came from. If they are in pain, they need healing rather than inspiration, motivation, or strength to get through it all on their own.

Mental health related problems require treatment and time to heal just like physical health.

For an instance, whenever our leg breaks, the doctor plasters it and advises us to rest. Imagine if, instead of doing that, he started blaming us or motivating us, or tries to push us to walk. Do you think that would help heal us more quickly or properly? No right? Similarly, if we have mental health issues, it's not our fault, we need treatment rather than motivation, sweet talk, or blame.

Let us imagine we have a sprained leg and instead of receiving treatment from professionals, we are told to ignore the pain because a tough person would do that. What do you think will happen then?

Naturally, this would lead to a worse problem or, if it heals, it would not heal properly, which would result in a deformed body structure.

By the same token, ignoring mental health for the sake of being "tough" would lead to nothing but disaster in the long run.

Thus all these detrimental practises, inimical culture and misleading mind-sets need to be changed.

Promotion of mental health professions is another issue that needs to be addressed. It is important to reward people who work for mental health, to motivate children to pursue careers in this field, and to show them what kind of careers they can go for after finishing their studies. There are many benefits to hiring mental health professionals, including increasing work satisfaction of the labour force, increasing the productivity of human resources to a significant degree and understanding people and their needs.

Finally, I would like to conclude by stating that mental health awareness is increasingly important to bring about numerous changes in society and to save a large number of people from suffering. Mind can make the body hundred times stronger but if it is wounded, traumatized or blank no matter how strong our body is, we cannot recover. We can hide what we are feeling, but hiding is not healing.

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  • Chan, L. (2019, November 6). Mental health in Asia: The numbers. Our Better World. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from
  • Dattani, S., Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (2021, August 20). Mental health. Our World in Data. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from