By Ranjan K Baruah
We do not talk much about mental health. When we see someone’s health is deteriorating like sudden weight loss then we talk about our health and consult doctors. On the other hand it is very difficult to know about our mental health, which is important. There are many career options related to mental health.
Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”. From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
According to the World Health Organisation ‘mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.
The positive dimension of mental health is in focus in WHO’s definition of health as contained in its constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Depression and anxiety are common mental disorders which have an impact on our ability to work productively. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of them live with both. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity.
According to the National Mental Health Survey (2016), 1 in 20 people suffer from depression in India. It says 10 per cent of the Indian population suffers from common mental disorders. Data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shows that the country needs 11,500 psychiatrists while India only has 3,500 psychiatrists. India’s entire mental health workforce, comprising clinical psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers and psychiatric nurses, stands at 7,000 while the actual requirement is 54,750.
WHO estimated that in India, the economic loss due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is $1.03 trillion. Mental health workforce in India (per 100,000 populations) includes psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07).
There are endless opportunities as trained individuals are less in this area but one must have patience. As the data says and looking and the need in India mainly areas where one may choose to get engaged includes Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nursing, Social Work, etc. Apart from these there might be some other avenues like Counsellors, Dietician, Occupational Therapist, Peer Support Worker, etc.
Sainik School Entrance: Aspiring students may apply for the All India Sainik Schools Entrance Exam to be held on January 7. Admission in Sainik School Goalpara is only in Class VI & IX and last date to submit application form is December 5. Selection is made through all Indian entrance followed by medical test and interview. Scholarships from government are also available for the students.
JNV Entrance: Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are co-educational residential schools providing quality modern education to the talented students predominantly from rural areas from class VI to class XII. Applications are being collected for admission to class VI during 2018-19. Last date November 25.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and can be reached at b[email protected] or 98640 55558 for any career related queries)