TODAY -

No Health without Mental Health

Prof Dr Ningombam Heramani Singh / Nomita Keisam *



At some point in life, seeing a psychologist becomes the need of the hour for many people. People can either seek help from psychiatrists or clinical psychologists who are mental health professionals with highly specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions like depression, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, etc. They help people to handle stress better, cope with their mental health concerns, and chart a new path with better mental health.

What is Clinical Psychology & how does it differ from other fields ?

Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that assesses, investigates, and treats psychiatric issues including mental conditions, abnormal behavior, and psychiatric problems. Clinical psychologists are trained experts who treat mental and emotional issues through a range of investigations and diagnoses including psychological assessment and analysis.

They differ from counsellors and social workers as they primarily deal with patients with clinically recognized issues. However, unlike psychiatrists, they do not prescribe medicine but rather uses psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as their main tool to alleviate mental distress. These tools are designed to address the root cause of the patientís mental and emotional issues that will help to cope up with it better.

Role of Psychologist in Health Care Delivery

The new development and breakthroughs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences have led to the integration of medical practice towards the biopsychosocial approach. Contrary to the past method of dealing with the provision of health and illness by mere presence or absence of certain disease and infirmity, the biopsychosocial paradigm stresses a state of complete physical, psychological and social well-being.

Psychology as a behavioral health discipline is the key to the biopsychosocial practice and plays an important role in defining the concept of health and illness. The role of a clinical psychologist as a health care provider is diverse and is involved in primary, secondary, and tertiary care with various subspecialties.

In general, a psychologist assesses, diagnose, and treat the psychological problems and the behavioral dysfunctions due to or related to physical and mental health. They also play a significant role in the promotion of healthy behavior, preventing diseases, and improving the quality of life of the patient. They practice their clinical roles with rigorous ethical principles and a code of conduct.

Mental Health in India

WHO estimated that about 7.5% of the Indian population suffer from some form of mental condition and predicted that by the end of 2021 roughly 20% of India will have some form of mental distress. According to the report, about 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders.

It further emphasized that there is a massive shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists in the country as compared to the number of people suffering from mental health issues. Research has shown that there is no health without mental health. These statistics highlight the grim reality regarding mental health in the country.

The general population tends to separate the physical and mental health of an individual. More often than not, people refuse to seek help for their mental health conditions due to the stigma attached to it.

When it comes to mental health, a lot of people are not even aware that they are suffering from a form of mental health issues and this highlights the need for a conservative society like India to engage the mass and sensitize them at all levels about various mental health issues. Statistics show the grim reality of the people suffering from various types of mental health issues.

10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

(1) Challenge Thoughts: Challenge negative thoughts that come into your mind. Learn how to solve problems effectively.
(2) Share Things: Donít be afraid to share things with your family or friends.
(3) Work On Yourself: Make sure that you take some time to work on your own well being.
(4) Set Goals: Set goals that you want to achieve. Be proud of yourself when you achieve your goals.
(5) Healthy Body: Look after your body as well as your mind. Nutrition plays a large role within this.
(6) Exercise: Exercise is great for helping to boost mood, increase well being and reduce stress and anxiety.
(7) Manage Stress: Take some time coping strategies that can help you to deal with stress.
(8) Relax: Find some time to relax. Make sure that you dedicate some time each week for yourself. Meditate, try yoga or practice deep breathing.
(9) Talk To Someone: Donít be afraid to talk to someone about any issues that you might be experiencing. Make sure that you seek the right advice.
(10) Sleep: Make sure that you are getting a good amount of sleep. Get into a regular pattern.

Key Take-Away

Even though mental health is increasingly recognized as a global concern, it still remains as the neglected and often overlooked aspect of healthcare in different parts of the world. Many societies would not even acknowledge it as a health concern but rather are stigmatized to talk about it.

The need of the hour is for a holistic approach towards it and all the stakeholders including the policymakers, mental health experts, media houses, society, and communities to promote greater awareness regarding mental health treatment, help lines, mental health talks and to normalize the social and economic factors as well.


* Prof Dr Ningombam Heramani Singh / Nomita Keisam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Prof. Dr. Ningombam Heramani Singh. Sr. Consultant Psychiatrist
Nomita Keisam, Clinical Psychologist,
Shija Hospitals, HealthVillage, Langol, Imphal West.
This article was webcasted on October 16 2021.



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