Old people can live independently as long as they feel good about themselves which is why awareness about their condition is important to help them live a happy and quality life. Access to mental health makes them also able to participate and contribute to society.
Created to help old people with mental health problems
World mental health day was created to help old people with mental health problems to get fair treatment from society. There are many ways that world mental health day helps old people with mental illness. The first is that they can gain knowledge of their illness and its symptoms, treatments and how to deal with it. The second is that they know what kind of rights they have in regards to mental health care. Another is that they know some people can understand them and will be there for them if they need help. They have an understanding of how to cope with mental illness, reduce stress, and avoid depression.
Awareness about priority conditions every year
Aside from the rights of old people towards their mental health, World Mental Health Day also demands awareness about priority conditions every year. The priority conditions are depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (mental health related to old age), bipolar disorder (manic depression), epilepsy, drug use disorders including harmful use of alcohol. These priority conditions represent major public health problems due to their high prevalence, early-onset, and long-term disability. World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to focus on the priority conditions, support actions to improve mental health services, and promote them across borders.
Worldwide reasons to celebrate world mental health day
1) A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report has listed India as the world’s leading country in suicides, with nearly 65 percent of global suicide deaths occurring in the country. Globally, close to 800000 people kill themselves every year, and out of these, more than 75 percent take place in low-and middle-income countries. The WHO report also highlighted that majority of suicides were among the disadvantaged section of the society, such as farmers and aged-care givers who did not own land and/or had no social security for their old age.
2) Also, according to WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2011, India has a higher percentage (6.4%) of the population suffering from mental health problems than the global average (4.3%). The low status and lack of access to decent medical care for people with mental illnesses in India’s conservative society has compounded the problem.
3) Suicides due to depression are reaching epidemic levels all over the world, particularly among young adults. One in four people will be affected by a mental disorder at some point in their lives.
4) In India, there are six major types of mental illnesses – anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia and other psychoses, substance abuse disorders, dissociative disorders, and personality disorders. However, due to the stigma attached to them, they remain largely underdiagnosed and unreported.
5) In a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, it was found that more than 70 percent of children from urban slums suffer from moderate-to-severe mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems which affect their performance at school and social behavior.