Just take a split second away from your monotonous routines, and imagine you being a person traumatized by a melancholic past experience, with your mind engulfed with solely darkness and gloom. And in this circumstance you are in grave need of a supporting hand and thus you seek help from the society, which results in you being labelled as an “insane individual who ought to be committed to an asylum”. How would you truly feel?
Sadly, this is the culture engraved within the nation, with no awareness widespread on the fact constant repression of the mental wellbeing is a contributing factor to suicide. As per the mental health surveys conducted recently, a substantial proportion of the population suffering from mental deformities have been cornered and left in isolation, after being titled as a lunatic. So the attention raising point is where our community is headed this way. What we require is not a society which compels the mentally ill ones to struggle in silence, but a world which can revive and reinvigorate the minds filled with gloom and sorrow.
So, critical changes should be brought upon the attitudes inclusive of the perspectives and perceptions of the youth community who will be the key to a better tomorrow. The sole distinction between physical disorders and mental disorders is the body segments that they affect, but why do the people degrade ones affected by mental illnesses, while treating the physically ill ones in a casual way? Why is there a distinction between mental and physical illnesses? Irrespective of whether it affects the mind, heart or arms, an illness is an illness there shouldn’t be a division between them. Furthermore, the mentally ill ones are the ones who critically needs a bolster to rely on, while treating them with contempt and discrimination would worsen their situation which would lead them to self- harm. A single word you utter matters, as that could shed the darkness away from their restricted world, or put them in dire pain once again. This is a dilemma present in the contemporary society that people should be aware of. The line between physical and mental illnesses should be blurred, and they should be given the opportunity to LIVE life blissfully.
Primary and secondary socialization should be focused on educating the youngsters to be a ray of hope, while escalating the positivity in the lives and souls of everyone, instead of being a cause as to why depression is rife in the 21st century. The youth should refrain from using a tunnel vision in viewing other’s lives, and the circumstances that they undergo, thus they should put themselves in the shoes of the other party and feel the raw emotions, which would eventually lead to a better understanding about that person in general. This will ensure that the society learns to sympathize and feel pity towards the ones in need of it. As an unashamed conversation, more sunlight and more candor is what they require and will symbolize hope for them.
So, likewise highlighting the urgency and vitality in transforming a world where mental illness is treated as an abnormality, into a world where people can open up, be themselves without having to struggle in silence. Immediate social transformations should be instilled to eliminate the factors restricting and restraining the mental solace and peace of the wider community. Thus more open dialogues should be established to raise awareness on this matter.
By – Hashini Siriwardena
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ