Why is mental health important?
Mental health is something that is talked about a lot but is hardly completely understood. It includes our social, emotional and psychological well-being.
These can be influenced by a number of factors such as, biology of our brain, incidents that a person experiences in his/her life and genetics, that is, someone in the family has mental health related problems.
With so many variables that can effect mental health, it becomes essential for us as individuals to work on our mental health and also help others to maintain their mental well-being.
Just like we work on our bodies to remain fit or look better, mental health also requires maintenance and our attention to stay in the best of health.
Did you know, over 90 million Indians or 7.5% of the Indian population suffer from some form of mental health disorder?
According to the world health organisation, 800,000 people die every year due to mental health disorders. Hence, it is important to make our mental health a priority and visit a specialist whenever necessary.
What are the most common mental health issues?
Depression is ranked as the single largest contributor to global disability. The global figures of people with depression has already exceeded 300 million and is on a steady rise.
According to national mental health survey, one in twenty adults suffer from depression, 15% of which need immediate intervention.
Next in the list is anxiety. It comprises of 19% of the mental health diseases in the country.
Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are other mental health disorders that make up the majority of years lived with disability (YLDs) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs).
Mental Health in 2020
World Mental Health day is observed on October 10 every year with the aim of spreading awareness about the importance of mental health and efforts that can be made in its support.
This year’s theme was ‘mental health for all’. This is an apt theme as COVID-19 has affected us physically, mentally and emotionally. It has been a testing time for people who are already undergoing mental health treatment because of the lockdown rules.
There has been a surge in the number of people reporting mental health issues during this pandemic. Due to fear of contracting the virus, many individuals have ignored their mental health situation for the worse. Lack of in-person appointments have made patients sceptical about their follow up appointments.
It is time to look for alternative ways to tackle this situation and help those, in need of mental health professionals.
Tele-medicine : Ray of Hope
Tele-medicine is a branch that has seen a sudden rise in its graph when it comes to different health care technologies. With the pandemic to stay, it has become important for doctors to start consulting patients, especially those in urgent need.
Adopting tele-consultation based chatbot solutions is the need of the hour, especially when it comes to tele-psychiatry and tele-psychology.
You can read more about tele-medicine in India in our blog.
Patients now feel comfortable booking appointments with a therapist over an app or a call than visiting the clinic. The taboo attached to mental health issues is now slowly taking a back seat, thanks to tele-medicine. Patients can now book follow up appointments or schedule appointments from the comfort of their homes.
They can even tele-consult over a video call and help get treatment for their mental health related problems.
How To Support Someone With Mental Health Issues? – Dr. Christopher Willard
We, at Prescribe, aligning to this year’s theme of ‘mental health for all’, did our bit by organising a webinar on ‘how to support someone with mental health issues?’.
The guest speaker was Dr. Christopher Willard, who is a Psy D, Clinical Psychology and serves as a faculty at Harvard Medical School, MA, USA.
The session was hosted by Ms. Jahnnobi Roy, a psychology honours student at Christ University.
Dr. Christopher’s session was attended by doctors as well as other health care professionals. Many listeners were from non-medical background indicating the spread of the importance of mental health among the masses.
He shared some key features on how a lay man can understand and help mentally unhealthy individual.
Dr. Willard talked about different mental health disorders including depression and anxiety. He also discussed ways in which an individual can support someone who is going through a mental health issue. ‘Rather than googling, we should always seek out professional help’ was one of the key messages of the talk.
He emphasised on how it is important to break the social stigma around mental health disorders and help those in need.
Watch the webinar by Dr. Christopher Willard on – How To Support Someone With Mental Health Issues?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is tele psychiatry?
Telepsychiatry, also termed as telemental health or E-mental health, is broadly defined as the use of Information and Communication Technology to provide or support psychiatric services across distances.
Is tele psychiatry effective?
Telepsychiatry has been reported to be used for psychiatric assessment and follow-up in patients from general health services and psychiatric services suffering from various mental illnesses such as depression, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bulimia nervosa, and schizophrenia.
There is substantial evidence of the effectiveness of tele psychiatry and research has found satisfaction to be high among patients, psychiatrists and other professionals. Research has also found that overall experiences among all age groups have been good; there is evidence for children, adolescents and adults regarding assessment and treatment (medication and therapy).
What is tele psychology?
Telepsychology is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA, 2013) as, the provision of psychological services using telecommunication technologies.
What are the common mental health problems?
Common mental health problems in India include, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance abuse and psychosis.
How can I spread awareness about mental health?
There are small steps we can take on an everyday basis to spread awareness and support mental health. These include:
1. Educate yourself about mental illness
2. Volunteer at mental health organizations
3. Talk with everyone you know especially those in need
4. Open up about your experience
5. Leverage social media to inspire people to be supportive
What is the most cost-effective and efficient solution for tele-psychiatry or tele-psychology?
PRESCRIBE, a WhatsApp based tele consultation and chatbot service for hospitals and clinics in India is highly effective when it comes to tele-medicine. Prescribe has been trusted by the pioneers in the field of healthcare, time and again.
Our tele-consultation solution and WhatsApp based appointment booking system help hospitals and doctors treat patients from the safety of their homes.