Health is one of the four sectors in which Fiinovation, a CSR consultancy, operating for the past eight years. The experience in engaging in health issues have highlighted the stark reality of mental illness which is more common than expected. India is a country of 1.27 billion and experts suggests that one in five Indians have encountered some sort of mental illness. The number is not small and is expected to be around 250 million. But, does the country has the adequate infrastructure and staff to address the needs of the people?
The answer to the question is a big ‘NO’. It is estimated that India has around 10,000 trained mental health professionals which suggests a huge gap with no immediate fix. Therefore, in such a situation where the government knows that it will take time for the country to have adequate mental health professionals catering to the needs of the citizens, awareness perhaps is the best possible option available.
India is observing the annual National Mental Health Week, from October 4 which ends on National Mental Health Day on October 10. This year the theme is ‘Dignity in mental health, psychological and mental health first aid’. Since 1992, every year on 10th October, thousands of supporters come together creating awareness about mental illness. It provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss the crisis and find solutions to make mental health care a reality across the globe.
Fiinovation believes that early diagnosis of new cases and providing access to mental healthcare services for old cases will not only help in reducing the number of cases but also spread awareness about mental illness. Experts believe that it will also lead to drop in number of suicides in the country. As per WHO, the focus on psychological first aid is prioritized as it is important to reach out to the communities who are affected. Fiinovation believes that focus should be on pragmatic psychological support by people such as health staff, teachers, community workers etc.
As per the Sustainable Development Goals, addressing healthcare issues is one of the major components towards sustainable development. Ignoring health issues leads to lower productivity and high economic losses, especially for a developing country such as India. As the nation wants to achieve double digit growth, it will be required to address the prevalent challenges and take preventive measures. It is therefore, Fiinovation on the World Mental Health Day urges the corporations & SMEs to contribute towards development of infrastructure to address mental health issues under corporate social responsibility.
Let us understand that it’s exhausting to fight a war inside your head every single day.