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Mental Health: Mind at Peace or in Pieces?

t be overlooked. It is absolutely necessary to set the ball rolling on a number of prevention programs that address risk and protective factors at different stages. It is no coincidence that the majority of those who commit suicide visit a non-mental health professional during the last month of their lives. This is indeed a pointer about the crucial role primary care provider’s can play in identifying risk factors for suicide and advising timely intervention of mental health professionals.

It is equally important to have an accurate database on suicide-rates, to enable threadbare analysis that can form the basis of appropriate remedies. Presently, data capture regarding suicides is erratic, with only stray incidents being reported. To correct this, it will be worthwhile to spruce up surveillance, enabling a record of all statistics to build an authentic suicide database, which will form the edifice of suicide prevention strategies. Additionally, awareness programmes that strive to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues and risks of suicide is needed to encourage people to be willing to seek help. Suicide is a public health problem, and this information should be clearly disseminated.

Mental Block: Wrath of the Gods or Possession of Devils?

Hell hath no fury than a ‘mentally-ill ‘scorned! Despite education and awareness programmes, the anathema surrounding ‘mental health issues’ needs redress. It is assumed that all mentally ill warrant a sequestered treatment, maybe even a lock up, to avoid violent encounters. This is perhaps the mother of all myths. Post rehabilitation, most mentally ill patients begin to lead productive lives within their communities.

The stigma that surrounds mental illness can be dissipated only by creating awareness focused on education. The media, which is an extremely powerful medium, is largely responsible for portraying mental illness in a ‘negative’ light. With its
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