World Mental Health Day

The World Health Organisation recognizes World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. October 10, 1992 was the first time the World Mental Health Day was observed in over 150+ countries. It was the Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter whose relentless efforts led to the observance. The day used to be celebrated to educate, and remove the general problems arising from mental illness until 1993. It was only in 1994, that the event began to follow a theme-based approach. For the first time in that year, the event was commemorated on the theme of ‘Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World’. It was suggested by the Secretary General Eugene .

Importance of World Mental Health Day

The day is important in the medical world as it aims at improving the mental health issues of people by using various medications and counselling and other important services. In many parts of the world, the preparation for this day is done beforehand and some countries even hold workshops and courses that run for a week or sometimes months. Moreover, this day allows people to speak up about mental health in general and breaks the stigma of society. It is important to know that anyone can face mental issues, but the right diagnosis and counselling can yield positive results in a short period of time.

What is Mental Health?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source:

“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

  • People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder.
  • Mental health can affect daily living, relationships, and physical health. However, this link also works in the other direction.
  • Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions. Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life.
  • Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
  • Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine. Although the term mental health is in common use, many conditions that doctors recognize as psychological disorders have physical roots.
  • The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is about not only avoiding active conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.
  • They also emphasize that preserving and restoring mental health is crucial on an individual basis, as well as throughout different communities and societies the world over.

Common Mental Health Disorders

Anxiety disorders – According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Anxiety Disorders are the most common type of mental illness. People with these conditions have severe fear or anxiety, which relates to certain objects or situations. Most people with an anxiety disorder will try to avoid exposure to whatever triggers their anxiety.

Panic disorders – People with a panic disorder experience regular panic attacks, which involve sudden, overwhelming terror or a sense of imminent disaster and death.

Phobias – A phobia is a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or situation. It is a type of anxiety disorder. A person with a phobia either tries to avoid the thing that triggers the fear, or endures it with great anxiety and distress.

There are Different types of Phobia:

  • Simple phobias: These might involve a disproportionate fear of specific objects, scenarios, or animals. A fear of spiders is a common example.
  • Social phobia: Sometimes known as social anxiety, this is a fear of being subject to the judgment of others. People with social phobia often restrict their exposure to social environments.
  • Agoraphobia: This term refers to a fear of situations in which getting away may be difficult, such as being in an elevator or moving train. Many people misunderstand this phobia as a fear of being outside.

Phobias are deeply personal, and doctors do not know every type. There could be thousands of phobias, and what might seem unusual to one person may be a severe problem that dominates daily life for another.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – People with OCD have obsessions and compulsions. In other words, they experience constant, stressful thoughts and a powerful urge to perform repetitive acts, such as hand washing.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – PTSD can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a deeply stressful or traumatic event. During this type of event, the person thinks that their life or other people’s lives are in danger. They may feel afraid or that they have no control over what is happening. These sensations of trauma and fear may then contribute to PTSD.

Mood disorders – People may also refer to mood disorders as affective disorders or depressive disorders. People with these conditions have significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania, which is a period of high energy and elation, or depression.

Examples of mood disorders include:

  • Major depression: An individual with major depression experiences a constant low mood and loses interest in activities and events that they previously enjoyed. They can feel prolonged periods of sadness or extreme sadness.
  • Bipolar disorder: A person with bipolar disorder experiences unusual changes.Trusted Source in their mood, energy levels, levels of activity, and ability to continue with daily life. Periods of high mood are known as manic phases, while depressive phases bring on low mood.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – Reduced daylight triggers during the fall, winter, and early spring months trigger this type of major depression . It is most common in countries far from the equator.

Schizophrenia Disorders – Mental health authorities are still trying to determine whether schizophrenia is a single disorder or a group of related illnesses. It is a highly complex condition. Signs of schizophrenia typically develop between the ages of 16 and 30 years. The individual will have thoughts that appear fragmented, and they may also find it hard to process information. Schizophrenia has negative and positive symptoms. Positive symptoms include delusions, thought disorders, and hallucinations. Negative symptoms include withdrawal, lack of motivation, and a flat or inappropriate mood.

Mental Health Promotion and Protection

An environment that respects and protects basic civil, political, socio-economic and cultural rights is fundamental to mental health. Without the security and freedom provided by these rights, it is difficult to maintain a high level of mental health.

Specific ways to promote mental health include:

  • Early childhood interventions (e.g. providing a stable environment that is sensitive to children’s health and nutritional needs, with protection from threats, opportunities for early learning, and interactions that are responsive, emotionally supportive and developmentally stimulating).
  • Support to children (e.g. life skills programmes, child and youth development programmes); Socio-economic empowerment of women (e.g. improving access to education and microcredit schemes).
  • Social support for elderly populations (e.g. befriending initiatives, community and day centers for the aged); Programmes targeted at vulnerable people, including minorities, indigenous people, migrants and people affected by conflicts and disasters (e.g. psycho-social interventions after disasters).
  • Mental health promotional activities in schools (e.g. programmes involving supportive ecological changes in schools). Mental Health interventions at work (e.g. stress prevention programmes). Housing policies (e.g. housing improvement) Violence prevention programmes (e.g. reducing availability of alcohol and access to arms).
  • Community development programmes (e.g. integrated rural development). Poverty reduction and social protection for the poor.

Early Signs

  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Avoiding activities that they would normally enjoy.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Eating too much or too little.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Having consistently low energy.
  • Using mood-altering substances, including alcohol and nicotine, more frequently.
  • Displaying negative emotions.
  • Being confused.
  • Being unable to complete daily tasks, such as getting to work or cooking a meal.
  • Having persistent thoughts or memories that reappear regularly.
  • Thinking of causing physical harm to themselves or others.
  • Hearing voices.
  • Experiencing delusions.

Treatment

In the context of national efforts to develop and implement mental health policy, It is vital to not only protect and promote the mental well-being of its citizens, but also address the needs of persons with defined mental disorders. Knowledge of what to do about the escalating burden of mental disorders has improved substantially over the past decade. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating both the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of key interventions for priority mental disorders in countries at different levels of economic development.

Examples of interventions that are cost-effective, feasible, and affordable include:

  • Treatment of depression with psychological treatment and, for moderate to severe cases, antidepressant medicines.
  • Treatment of psychosis with anti-psychotic medicines and psychosocial support.
  • Taxation of alcoholic beverages and restriction of their availability and marketing.
  • A range of effective measures also exists for the prevention of suicide, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in children, prevention and treatment of dementia, and treatment of substance-use disorders.
  • The mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) has produced evidence based guidance for non-specialists to enable them to better identify and manage a range of priority mental health conditions.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, are the qualities and behaviours one exhibits while interacting with people. They can be defined as character traits, personal attributes, and other non-technical abilities that help you work and communicate with other people.

It is one of the most sought after soft skills. Interpersonal skills is one of the top criteria based on which companies hire their employees. A person with good interpersonal skills can communicate effectively and collaborate with a range of people, which will help them become successful. 

Types of Interpersonal Skills:

The following are some of the essential interpersonal skills:

Communication:  Communication is one of the most important interpersonal skills. Communication skills involves verbal, non verbal, and written. Regardless of the field of work, the ability to express your thoughts clearly and effectively with others verbally and in writing is crucial.

Active Listening: Listening goes hand in hand with good communication skills. Active listening involves paying close attention to what the other person is saying and taking the time to absorb and reflect on what they say. It helps you truly understand what someone is trying to convey. Listening demands the ability to decode and interpret verbal messages and nonverbal cues, like the tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand what another person is experiencing and is an essential part of being a good manager, employee, or colleague. This skill can help one get along with their colleagues and form meaningful relationships at the workplace. 

Emotional Intelligence: People who have high emotional intelligence are good at identifying and meeting the needs of others while taking responsibility for their own needs and feelings.

Teamwork: Teamwork is essential in almost every industry, and companies expect employees to be team players. Regardless of the role, it is necessary to collaborate and work together towards a common goal. 

Conflict Management: Conflict management or conflict resolution skills is needed to mediate and resolve workplace conflicts effectively. Poor communication and lack of interpersonal skills can easily cause simple disagreements to flare up for the worse, affecting the work environment. Having good conflict management skills can help keep the morale high and diffuse conflicts. 

Negotiation: Negotiation is a necessary skill for many positions. Depending on the specific job, it might involve creating formal agreements (or contracts) between clients or helping colleagues solve a problem and determine a solution. To be a good negotiator, you must be able to listen to others, use creative problem solving, and arrive at an outcome that satisfies everyone.

Positive Attitude: A positive attitude can take you a long way. A positive attitude plays a vital role in maintaining a good work environment to work. Being positive during difficult situations will make tasks easier, encourage others and boost morale.

Ways to Improve Interpersonal Skills:

Cultivate a positive outlook. 

Control your emotions. 

Practice active listening.

Be assertive. 

Practice empathy.

Maintain good relationships. 

Master good communication skills

Attend classes or workshops

In today’s world, technical skills alone won’t guarantee one a job. Strong interpersonal skills help you stand out from the crowd. They complement your technical abilities, enhance performance, boost social interactions, and give you an edge over your competition. Employers look for candidates with good interpersonal skills, as they can be effective communicators, great leaders, good team players and efficient managers.

The three-tier consumer grievances machinery under the consumer protection act

The three-tier consumer grievances machinery under the consumer protection act are :

  1. District Forum Each District Forum shall consist of a person who is or has been qualified as a District judge, as the President. There must be two other persons who are not less than thirty-five years of age and also possesses a degree from a recognized university. The persons must have adequate knowledge in the field of economics, commerce, industry, public affairs, and administration. The district forum must have the jurisdiction to entertain such complaints where the value of goods or services and the compensation, does not exceed Rs. twenty lakhs. The need for district forums for consumer redressal is that majority of the people who face any consumer rights violation are unable to file a complaint in a state or national forum because such have to look at matters concerning various other district forums which result in a large number of pending cases. District forums are also enabled with a faster way of dispensing consumer redressal as the number of claims is pretty less than that of State/National redressal forums which enables normal people to seek a solution for their problems.
  2. State Commission Each State Commission shall consist of a person who is or has been a judge of the High Court as its president. The Commission also consists of not less than two members, who are above thirty-five years of age and also possess a degree from a recognized university. The persons must have adequate knowledge in the field of economics, commerce, industry, public affairs, and administration. The Act also states that not less than fifty percent of the members shall be from amongst the persons having a judicial background. The State Commission has a jurisdiction to entertain cases where the value of goods or services or the compensation claimed, if any, exceeds the number of Rs. twenty lakhs but does not exceed Rs. one crore. It also entertains appeals against any District Forum within the state and also looks after any pending disputes or cases decided by any of the District forums in which the forums have exercised a jurisdiction not vested in them by the law, or has been exercised illegally or with any material irregularity.
  3. National Commission The National Commission shall consist of a person, who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court, to be appointed by the Central Government, shall be the President, provided that no appointment shall be made except after the consultation with the Chief Justice of India. The commission shall consist of not less than four members of its executive committee who shall not be less than thirty-five years of age and must be graduates from a recognized university. They must also be specialized in the areas of commerce, economics, and administration. The jurisdiction of the commission shall extend to any case where the compensation amount might exceed Rs. one crore and the Commission shall also entertain appeals against State Commissions.

The Commission also has the power to check any pending disputes or cases decided by any of the State Commissions where the State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law or it has been exercised illegally or with any material irregularity Power of redressal forums There are various powers for all of the redressal forums with regards to its jurisdiction.
Some of them include:

  1. Examining, enforcing as well as summoning the witness on oath;
  2. Discovering and producing any material evidence;
  3. Receiving evidence on affidavit;
  4. Requesting for the report or test analysis from the concerned authorities and laboratories;
  5. Issuing commission for examining the witness; 6. Enforcing any other powers prescribed by the Central or State Government Limitation period