MENTAL HEALTH: AN UNRECOGNIZED PRIORITY
Quoting Jack Harris, “Mental illnesses are a thing. They’re real, and they are very present. And we need to talk about them.” We’ve also witnessed many individuals talk about the severity of mental health problems and share stories of their own battles with the same. But it only took us a whole Pandemic to actually realise the importance of the well-being of our mental health.
The unfortunate Pandemic brought into our lives the one thing humanity is most afraid of; uncertainty! Uncertainty about job security, uncertainty regarding our health, uncertainty pertaining to the smallest of things around us. While half of us had nothing to worry about, the other half spent their days praying that they don’t lose their jobs. Some were already struggling with a job loss and were counting on their savings, and others were somehow trying to manage one meal a day. The death rate seeing an all-time high, people were losing their loved ones and couldn’t even see them for the last time, feeling helpless. ‘Death’ became such a common term, that we somehow became numb to the fear the word brought with it.
The quarantine period came along with certain setups that were unavoidable in nature. Individuals were confined to their homes. Some were frustrated, for they were surrounded with people and some because they were all alone with only their thoughts keeping them company. Some were dreaded with responsibilities from their workplace, as it is much harder to achieve targets and deliver excellence when the sword of fear of losing one’s job is hanging by a thin string over their necks.
Responsibilities didn’t just end with performing well at your professional end. Your personal life also required equal attention, now that you shared both the space. The pressure and the frustration felt to maintain a work-life balance is real and it can sometimes get out of your hands, with both aspects of life demanding those extra hours from you. All this accumulates and builds up tension, and the beginning of a battle commences within.
A variety of events in your life can contribute to the disruption of your mental peace which can lead to numerous issues related to mental health. It could be anxiety, stress, depression, etc. But this pandemic gave us a lifetime of experiences in just a few months. It is an overwhelming stream of feelings when we come across emotions of a lifetime in a short time. This has taken a toll on many individuals, for they weren’t able to process it.
It is never an issue, till it becomes our issue. Our society always considered discussing or talking about mental health issues as a taboo. Someone who dares to visit a counsellor is tagged abnormal. But battling a mental health issue is the most natural and normal concept. Only if we could open our minds a little and see all possibilities and occurrence of events in this world. We are definitely behind in the race, but together, lets catch-up and make our mental health our priority, much like our physical well-being.
Let’s not get lost in anticipation of tomorrow. Let us pace it down rather than turning it up a notch and constantly trying to push ourselves beyond our potentiality. Because at the end of the day, we all deserve peace.
- Rithika Rao
Vivekanand Business School