September 26, 2020 at 3:16 am #2876Daniel OchiengKeymaster
Please write a short paragraph of fewer than 300 words on your definition of mental health from a youth’s perspective. How has it made you fell about the concept of mental health? Have you experienced mental health challenges in your past or do you know of someone who has or is ongoing mental health management challenges? Tell us their story (you may be anonymous or use fictional characters, we respect our privacy and of those around you). How was this managed, if at all?
The definition of mental health from a youth’s perspective is a state of well-being in which a person leads a positive functioning in his/her daily life, perceives satisfaction with life and is equipped with positive coping response and adjustment to make a contribution to his/her life as well as to be community. Every individual has different meaning for mental health as each individual as unique problems in their life. So, with each individual the meaning the meaning of the mental health changes according to this need. I feel mental health is a broad concept which should be incorporated with moral science. This would make an individual aware about mental health from a very young age.
Recently, in the pandemic COVID-19 situation, I was facing extreme difficulties as along with pandemic, the place where I was living was flooded due to heavy rains. At that time, no one was maintaining social-distancing, as there was very less space on highland and there were lots of people. In the same time, the companies I was working in had not release the salary of last four months, and I had very less money to go to somewhere. At that time, it was very difficult for me , even to sleep in the night. The mobile networks were not working and I was not able to reach to my friends. Those four days were worst part of my life which I would like to forgot soon. After the re-establishment of mobile networks, I contacted some of my friends, and also for financial support so that I can move to some better location in this pandemic.
In your opinion, is mental health management necessary in society? What are the signs and symptoms that someone is experiencing mental health challenges? Do you believe that these signs and symptoms are more common in their communities or are they seen as the typical signs and symptoms of mental health worldwide? Why?
Management of mental health is as necessary as management in other sector like in organisation or industry it is required because mental health is a part of a person’s personality and his productivity and efficiency in the society. A person with good mental health contributes much to a country as he/she is more productive to focus on other things for the betterment of his/her environment.
Sign & symptoms in a person experiencing mental health challenges can be seen in either of the two form – Overt and Covert. A person who might be overt in nature will continue his/her daily behaviour in the same way as he/she behaves but such person subtly provides hint. Will talk but less. Will interact but interaction time will lessen or sometimes would escape interactions by making excuses. In the time of social media such person would post few comedy post & few sad emotions post. It could include dark comedy post too. Would post such fictional character’s images or dialogues with whom they associate their feelings more.
Compared to them a covert person also provides a subtle hints but it’s more difficult to read them because they hardly express their deeper emotional turmoil. Though their regular habits could provide cue about those subtle hints. There may be changes in their hobby related activities, or in their regular routine. Their regular choices may show changes.
Sign & symptoms are different in different communities because of differences in culture. A tribal culture in India could show different way to express their mental health ups and downs and an African tribe could show different. To take cue from a person’s behaviour about his/ her mental health challenges it’s 1st important to take into account of their culture with which they belong.
The common statement is that mental health management especially among youth is a developed world problem and not an issue that affects developing countries. Is this true or false? Do you think the issues are less or more severe than in developing countries?
It affects developing countries, just the way it affects developed countries. Youth is world’s tomorrow. Having a youth suffering from mental health issues, not only affects the individuals, but also the nation. In developing countries, the whole nation relies on it youth, for economic growth as well as social growth. Mental health issues in youth could do the same effect as poverty does.
Mental health management is extremely needful in any population. Since psychology and physiology are intrinsically and dynamically coupled anything that affect our mental health can eventually leads to physiological problems as well. In developing countries poor mental health management will negatively affect sustenance of the national productivity. In developing countries poor mental health management will leads to negatively affect the productivity and hence national development will get hampered. Even though the reason behind Poor mental health management is different in both developed and developing countries; if anything happens to people-the ultimate structural unit of a society- will affect the all the facets of the country like economic; cultural; quality of life etc.
What do you think are the main reasons for Mental Health issues among youth in developing and least developed countries? Do you think the issues are less or more severe than in developing countries?
The main reason for Mental Heath issues among youth are:
The issues of mental health start with family, as the societal boundaries are very permeable. This makes too much scope for parents to force their wishes on children’s career. Parents, other’s family member and also other people get lot of opportunities of telling the son/daughter of that person is doing this and that, leading to cognitive dissonance in career choice
Not all children really know that the career path they are moving on is right or wrong, or where it will take, and not all parents know what and how can they guide and help their children in their study and career which leads to children to follow things blindly and without much growth and success, this leads to inaccessibility of good institutions of studies.
Lack of right knowledge on gender role, sexual understanding, intimacy, periods, pregnancy etc.
Love and inter-caste/inter-religion marriage being a shameful act in the society.
Lack of practical understanding due to less applied syllabus making youths degree holder instead of job holders.
Huge over-competition while getting jobs.
Not eager to get or being satisfied with jobs which requires less qualification than the person actually is. For example, if someone have graduation degree, he/she won’t be satisfied with clerk job.
Job opportunities being not good in a country, this force many to go abroad or other countries and live life without family and many other wanting to go but cannot due to some or other reason.
Increasing interest in up-to-dated games and technology, but less purchasing capacity leading to acts like robbery and family disharmony to full this futile wish.
Desire to shine among peers by owning all the possible material advancement.
Peer pressure for using drugs, cigarette, and other things in order to called as grown up and dudes.
High tendency of learning through modelling rather than rationalization specially by coping celebrities.
In developed countries there is culture of small families and also the children usually starts independent living from age of 18, so in such places, the reason for developing mental health problems is the pressure of earing by self for independent living. This is literally young age when they start earning money. With money in hand, they start exploring life by using drugs, or other material which provide short term mental satisfaction.
I think youths of developing nations is also suffering from the severe mental problems at a level comparable to developed nation nations. In developing nations, poor mental health managemental will negatively affect sustenance of the national productivity, which further lead to reduced national development. In the youth of the developing nations, there is always a burden of proving themselves in eyes of their parents and to live their expectation. If the mother of a person wants him to be a doctor, then her son will start preparing accordingly and sacrifice his dreams. There is always cognitive dissonance going on but the person fights through this themselves. Someone seeks helps while others gave up and start adapting accordingly. If the problem of the mental health in developing nations is not being reported, this does not mean that developing nations are experiencing less mental health problems. The situation is grave, but it goes unnoticed.
Please refer to assignment 2: Social Media and Personal Banding. We posted a study by Dr. Primack and Colleagues in 2014-2016 at the University of Pittsburgh, the study found that there is a significant, linear relationship between social media and depression, measure either as total time or frequency of visits. Do you think social media has an impact on Youth Mental Health? How are your community leaders dealing with it?
Is there decent access to mental care for youth in your country? Do you think youth seek the help of mental care officers first when they have mental health issues? Are the officers being active in helping the youth?
In terms of decent access to mental care, we have department of psychiatry in the government hospital, but there is no dedicated decent access to mental care for youth in my country. Some companies and institutions have now started recruiting some counsellors for maintaining good mental conditions of the employees. Also, there are some NGOs which have been working in the field of mental health, and especially dedicated to the mental health problem of the children and old age. In terms of seeking health from the mental care officers, the first answer is NO, there is no much stigma attached to it. People don’t talk on it when comes to seeking help, they firstly talked or asked to some friend whom they trust, then go to a doctor (mostly general physician) who has little or no experience of dealing mental health problem. Going to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is the last option they go with or else referred by some general physician. The very first option they trust is friends and google. The latest medical bill of National Commission for Allied and Healthcare for Professions 2020 has been widely opposed/rejected by the psychologists as it allows many other people to take over the profession of psychologist. A Masters degree in Psychology is supposed to make one a psychologist. But, one should be skillful in doing that job and must be confident. Counsellors are of various type but a psychological counsellor or counselling psychologist is one who is having masters in psychology with supervised training in psychological wellbeing. At present, there is no legal regulatory system in India, so legally, it doesn’t exist. To answer about the activeness of the medical officers in helping the youth, I will say yes, but, they are not so confident in that because there is no legal system that protect and make ethics and rule for them as in lawyer, doctor etc. Also, there profession is open for anybody and who is confident enough to say that they are life coach, motivational speaker etc, which is similar to counselling.
Please write a paragraph of 400 words or less on whether your government is taking into account mental health management. Give suggestions on what changes you as a youth would advocate for. List a few steps you are willing to undertake as a youth to fight for change in terms of mental health
On the basis of my personal experiences, I don’t think government is taking adequate measure for mental health management. There is a department of psychiatry in the government hospitals but I rarely see the facility of counselling in the hospital. Even, a person suffering from a low level of anxiety were asked to take some anti-anxiety pills when they visited the psychiatrist. The absence of clinical psychologist in the government hospital shows the lack of concentration of the government on mental health problems. Medicine is needed for sudden relief but the counselling seems to be benefit in long term engagement. For the government, they don’t seem to categorize the problem of simple anxiety or depression different from the problem of mad people and this is the reason, you don’t easily see the clinical psychologist in the government hospital but you see psychiatrist everywhere.
Awareness and insight about mental health problems and management should be incorporated in school curriculum from standard three or four only. It should be considered as one of the important subject and the appointment of the counsellor in a private, semi-public, public or government schools should be made mandatory. Parent-teacher meeting should be made frequent to involve parents too about awareness and insight on mental health. For the proper care and wellbeing of the youth working in a place, a counsellor must be appointed at any working office. To bring a change, it’s important to work at primary unit of society – i.e. family. Community level interactions like in cancer hospitals, should be implemented. People fear having judged when they try to speak about their mental health problems. To promote a good mental health communication, the first and best step is to promote the habit of not judging a person. Fear of being stigmatized for going to mental health professional is one of the biggest hurdle for the people in asking help from professional mental health. Most of the time, stigma is induced by our own near and dear ones. When we stop this practice, the stigma automatically gets lessen. Support system plays an important role for a good mental health. Media should be involved, to, other than neutral reporting to promote good mental health. Media reaches to mass at a greater level. It can lead to generate widespread awareness and preventive measures.
Highlight a role model in your life who was battling with mental health and is a survivor. Explain in depth what makes this individual unique to you as a youth. Tell us their story on how they overcame mental health and the lessons you derived from their history
Talking about mental health has always been a neglected topic in health area. Bringing down the wall of stigma related to mental health is matter of utmost urgency in the contemporary scenario. The promotion of awareness about mental health issues, sharing experiences of self and others going through any mental illness can play a significant role in breaking the stigma. So, here I go with a story of a my closed one who is still recovering and is a fighter.
In my graduation, I met with a boy who eventually turned out to be my roommate in hostel days. He was very charming, easygoing and studious as well. I spent three years of my life with him, everyone says college days are the golden one. so yes, it was our time, nothing to worry, enjoying to the fullest and everything was going fine, and finally we graduated. The major episodes started to come up in when he was in last year of his Post Graduation. At that time, she wasn’t aware that what’s happening with him. He was very busy in academics and university life, and he thought it as a situational depression. Though she was meritorious, he qualified for NET-JRF (which makes him eligible for Assistant Professor Job in India) and was looking forward towards his bright future. After completing his university post-graduation degree when he went home for break and sudden changes started to inculcate in his life. He was only close to his friends and never found that space at home where he can share everything with his parents or sibling. In the meantime, his parents found a match for him and he was engaged.
But before engagement, he was very anxious, aloof in his home and his parents got no clue for his weird behavior like not coming out of her room for the whole day, keeping the lights off, over sleeping, etc. But this wasn’t the only things which were happening in his life. It was more than that. He was always apprehensive, doubting her sister who he is keeping a check on his phone and social media accounts, hacking of Facebook and even he started doubting us (our friend circle). This suspicious behavior was very extreme. He had suspicion that we (his close friends) had disclosed all her secrets of university to his mother and father, although we haven’t met them ever.
He didn’t have a warm environment and comfortable life at his home or maybe he doesn’t feel in solace at his home. Sibling comparison and past history of abuse in childhood can be the reasons for this which was abruptly coming out. Two important symptoms were high suspicious behavior and constant anxiety. He called us talked for hours but never he was convinced that we haven’t revealed any of her things which happened at University. Also, there was no such incidence happened in University which could lead him to problem when his parents get to know. But this behavior was at extreme, this all was happening in May-July 2018. We tried hard to convince but everything went in vain. He was losing his thoughts, couldn’t connect to the regular life. Thought circumstantiality and flight of ideas were happening with him. He was losing his thought associations. He started to relate to a minute event around him with himself, it could be anything. We tried hard to convince to consult a psychiatrist, but his parents couldn’t notice the changes in him. Though he has a high insight level which led to self-examination and naming of disorders which might he was suffering from. Finally, on the wedding day, I arrived and got the chance to see him. Cutting the story short, when he went to his in laws house, some kind of weird and abnormal behavior was noticed and they took him to a psychiatrist. His wife was also talking about these things with her parents earlier. Things which has been avoid by his parents, his in laws noticed and this is the most crucial point where social support matters and he has the full support of his wife now including his own parents who now remorse that they weren’t able to.
He is still on medication, anti-depressants SSRIs and somekind of anti-epileptic medicines. But yes, he now is happier with her wife and family as well. He lost almost her two years of life and not able to continue his academic activity. His memory capacity was deteriorating but now he is keeping well and I hope soon he will be in back continuing the normal life like old days. This my one of the closest experiences of a person going through any kind of mental illness and I tried to help him in all the way possible. It’s a very long and personal story and many of the events, I am not able to mention here. But yes, I would certainly say that he is brave and courageous enough to fight this and go through all these. His high level of insight and social support are the major reasons that she responded to the treatment so well. So let’s not be stigmatized for this and talk about it openly. Observing any change in the behavior of our friends, family, closed ones and talking about it can be of great help
Mental Health Panel Discussion
Ask your panelists about their view on mental health. Have any of them personally experienced Mental Health Issues or know anyone who went through the same and recovered? What are the lessons from these stories?
Their view on mental health have shifted from what they think of it earlier. If something is stopping them from contributing positively or interacting positively, they feel like something is wrong with them. They talk about mental health in terms of cutting connection with the social worlds, losing appetite, weight gain or loss, hairfall, not coming out of their rooms for long hours, excessively devoted time on social media, scrolling pages on social media etc. Almost all the recruited participants shared some mental health issues, they faced. It mostly because of tension in relationship, work pressure, assignment pressure, or financial problems. Financial problem has been repeatedly referred to as a region of generating mental health issues by most of the participants. In terms of lessons, most of them agreed that they should have start sharing about the problem with their families or friends earlier. The early you seek the help, the better you would do in life. The self and constant thinking about the problem is the worst thing which result in generation of other thinking and person themselves is not easily capable of getting out of this web of thinking.
Lead a discussion on the most common mental health issues among the youth in your country.
The common answer is no one like to share the mental health problem, unless you are very close to them. No one initiate the communication on mental health, unless you start sharing you problem. About the situation in my country, the participants say that there is dearth of clinical psychologist and the available are also not fully trained. People try to avoid going to psychiatrist because they have to take medicine after visiting the psychiatrist and people do not wan to take psychiatric medicines. The people who have visited the clinical psychologist does not seem to be fully satisfied with their counselling. So, there is lack of confidence on the available clinical psychologist. So, the situation in my country in short is: There are psychiatrist but people do not want to visit them, and there are very less clinical psychologist, but they are not fully trained. So, ultimately people are mostly taking care of themselves for low level of anxiety or depression until the situation came to visit the psychiatrist.
Do your panelists think youth have equal and enough access to mental health care services? What are hindrances for a youth in your country from access to this service?
Like others, people have equal and enough access to mental health care facility in government hospital but, they do not have any dedicated facilities like old age people or children. The government facilities are open to all equally but the panelists have complained that the doctor did not give them sufficient time to speak or listen to the medicine. The doctor asks certain set of question and do not let the patients speak about what they feel like or how they are passing time. The absence of counselling in the country is the major drawback.
Do they feel as though they receive mental health services as frequently? Should youth find their own way to overcome mental health challenges or should they lean to external services? Give options on the type of services that can be offered.
According to the panelists, youth normally do not visit the mental health services until they are suffering from extreme depression or bipolar disorder. For low level of anxiety and depression, they try their own way to overcome mental health challenges and there is a growing perception among the people that they have to mentally very strong and fight themselves against this problem with the help of family members and friends. There is also lack of knowledge of services which are available. Panelists had no knowledge about the national helpline number for seeking mental health support.
What are their suggestions to Kectil on raising awareness and educating the youth on the topic Mental Health? What do you think you as a Kectil Colleague can do to combat Mental Health in your communities?
The only things they say that they should know what are the facilities which have been made available by the government for fighting against the mental health problems. This should be more publicise on the television, or through direct messages from the phone, or through the information from the news channel. Kectil
Colleagues can positively contribute for the betterment for society and fighting against the mental health problems. With some training, Kectil colleagues can make effort to bring changes and provide help to the peoples who seek support. Learning from the Assignment 2 can also be used to spread the positiveness in the society through social media. Kectil colleagues can motivate people who are fighting against the mental health problem and can turn out to be a mental health warrior for the needed society.
Briefly introduce the actionable points derived from the Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 (World Health Organization). Do your panelists think the plan is feasible? What has been accomplished this far?
The Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 ask for the country-level coordinated support from the social and health sector. The plan is very ambitious which provide the recovery of the person suffering from the mental health problem in a stigma-free and discrimination-free society. The plan aims to provide high quality facility by valuing and promoting the culturally appropriate facilities. The plan also calls for empowerment of the people suffering from mental health problems and psychological disorders. The main objective of the plan is ‘to strengthen effective leadership and governance of mental health, to provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in a community-based setting, to implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health and to strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.’ The panelist think that this is feasible only if government is very serious about. In developing countries, like India, infrastructure problem will be the first problem. Even if the infrastructural and other money related problems are sorted, then, the availability of trained doctors and psychologist for such a big country in community-setting would be a difficult task. The quality of doctor would decide the future of the plan as the confidence of the patients on the doctor would determine whether the other patients are going to visit the doctor or not. As far as accomplishment is concerned, some institutions on the behavioral research have been set up, the scope of their operation is very limited. The government and implementation agency have a long way to travel yet for full implementation of the plan.
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