Say it Out Loud: Mental Health 

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WHILE the world is grappling with the Covid-19 Pandemic, it has also been exposed to a humongous mental health crisis. The same is more visible now because of the proportion of people exposed to conditions that can trigger various mental health issues or aggravate existing ones.

However, Kashmir faces yet another crisis which is that of a lack of knowledge regarding mental health. Even as many are confronting the reality of increasing suicide rates; the right narratives are still a far cry. We’re either asking people to have a millionaire mindset or are reprimanding people for a lack of Imaan.

While the former runs the risk of putting more pressure on the individual’s self-image and scar them further; the latter has the potential to worsen self-doubt and self-deprecating tendencies.

It is true that discipline and spiritual wellbeing can help keep our mental health healthy but they are only one of the many things one is supposed to do in case of a mental health crisis.

Fundamentally, mental health is very similar to our physical health. Just as physical health or illness requires medical attention, so does our mental health. This is the first rule that we all need to normalise in all households. If you are inexplicably low or have any other internal or behavioral conflicts, please see a therapist.

This awareness is in itself a great step towards taking care of your mental health. Knowing the patterns of your mental setup and the need for mental wellbeing can go a long way. It unloads the burden from oneself and keeps in check our tendencies to blame ourselves for things that are actually out of our control.

Staying aware of mental health at all times will also help us build a system for ourselves where we stay constantly enlightened about the steps to self-care. It will also aid us to understand our circles of acquaintances better. More so, staying vigilant and informed about mental health can also help us direct our loved ones when we see patterns that might require them to see a therapist or a psychiatrist.

In Kashmir, we need to fight to normalise discussions around mental health. In a world where we are still largely dismissive of mental health issues; we need to stay more alert to mitigate the harm that this unawareness might bring.

During the pandemic, each one of us has become vulnerable to conditions that are detrimental to our physical as well as mental health. Stay alert and stay in touch with health professionals to navigate your way out of this situation.

Tania Shafi

Nawhatta, Srinagar

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