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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Breaking the cocoons of isolation

By Vaseline May30,2024

India’s National Tele-Mental Health Program has achieved a major milestone by receiving over 10 lakh calls on its toll-free tele-MANAS (Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States) number, reflecting the improvement in mental health services. . This amounts to an average of 3,500 calls being made to the toll-free number every day seeking help from mental health professionals by people suffering from mental health issues, which also speaks volumes about the growing mental health problems in the country. Reducing stress, lifestyle changes and strong emotional support at home, in educational institutions and in the workplace should be prioritized to strengthen the prevention of mental health problems. A total of 51 Tele-MANAS cells have been spread across all states and Union Territories under the program being implemented on digital platforms. Easy and quick access to such services plays a crucial role in preventing the deterioration of mental health conditions and preventing those suffering from falling into a bottomless pit of depression and developing a tendency to take extreme steps. When family members notice any sign of anxiety or fear that someone in the family is experiencing, they can immediately seek the help of a spiritual counselor on how to help the individual get out of it. People often hesitate to talk about their mental health problems because they fear stigmatization. The mental health condition will only get worse if they continue to suffer in isolation. When they receive emotional support from family members, friends and colleagues who notice their suffering and offer to overcome it, they feel confident to discuss their mental health problems. Making free advice from health professionals more accessible is critical to discourage young people from seeking free advice on social media networking sites from people who have not received any professional training to diagnose mental health problems or provide scientific guidance for healing . Raising mental health awareness should address this challenge and focus on educating youth that self-diagnosis based on unreliable and incomplete information on social media can pose a greater risk to their health. Instead, they should share their problems with family members and friends to seek help from a trained mental health professional. The social media-based self-diagnosis and self-medication is not only limited to mental health issues, but has also become a worrying trend regarding general health issues, creating serious health risks for more people. Sleep loss is known to be a major contributing factor to anxiety and fear. Working late into the night for fear of being left behind in the competitive world or scrolling on the smartphone until late at night leads to a lack of quality sleep. Unfortunately, this has become a trend among many young people across the country. Ironically, many health-conscious individuals, many of whom are young professionals, who prioritize diet and exercise to stay healthy, ignore the importance of a good night’s sleep. The exposure of young children in schools and colleges to digital screens for long hours leaves many of them in digital cocoons of isolation, and when they face anxiety and depression, they often feel completely alone, even when they are at home are with relatives. Parents and educational institutions who take special measures to reduce exposure to digital screens of smartphones or Internet-connected computers and replace them with physical activities such as sports and outdoor games, physical reading in libraries and visits to museums in the company of relatives and friends can go a long way in breaking their isolation. This also prevents symptoms of mental health problems from going unnoticed at home or in educational institutions. This will also require parents and older members of the family to reduce their own digital hours and spend more time together with children and younger members to strengthen the family bond and create an ecosystem where they can share each other’s problems with the same confidence as the sharing happy moments of happiness. performance, success, etc. Not just screen time, but parental guidance and control over digital content are crucial to prevent young children from being exposed to inappropriate content and falling prey to cybercriminals. Digital technology has become an integral part of the modern education system. Educational institutions and teachers must also play a crucial role in guiding students in using the Internet so that they are not exposed to attacks by cybercriminals on the Internet that can cause mental distress and give rise to serious mental health problems. Raising awareness among children about safe internet use will also encourage them to share with their parents and teachers when they are being targeted by cybercriminals and overcome any mental health issues they may experience as a result of unwanted or unsafe digital exposure. Children who receive such guidance help inculcate the habit of sharing as they mature. Ending isolation, both in the digital and physical worlds, is the pragmatic approach to dealing with rising mental health problems.

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