What is a Panic Attack?

A woman named Bella in her mid 30’s was once rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. She was profusely sweating and she felt like her heart was racing at one instance, such that she was unable to take a breath. She and her husband were certain that, she had a heartache. But, […]

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Internet Addiction

Do you play video games on the Internet in overabundance? Are you enthusiastically shopping online? Can’t physically quit checking Facebook? If your answer is yes for any of these questions, you may have the internet addiction.   The world which we live in today is full of advanced technological inventions. Nowadays education, entertainment, communication, and […]

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Is Schizophrenia Genetic?

All of us are aware of how genetics plays an important role in various illnesses. But, have you ever imagined as to what has heredity to do with Schizophrenia? This is one of the common questions many people ask whether schizophrenia is a hereditary disease. The answer is yes and no! Yes, Schizophrenia does have […]

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Guide for caregivers for Schiz...

Schizophrenia can affect an individual to an extent that they turn incapable to taking care of themselves. At this time, the role of a caregiver, family or friend, becomes important. Taking care of an individual with schizophrenia can be very difficult as they can get aggressive or rigid suddenly due to their symptoms. Medications and […]

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Food Addiction

Is your loved one eating in excess, or even more than what is essential for their proper nutrition or a healthy living? Then, it may be a sign or indication of food addiction. Here a person perpetually engages in ravaging behaviors of overeating. This is the reason for which some people cannot sway themselves around […]

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Dignity and mental health care go hand in hand

Who does not want to be treated with dignity? As a matter of fact all of us! But the sorry part of all talks about dignity is that seldom words match the action when we talk about treating a mentally ill person with all the dignity he or she deserves.

o2Threat to dignity

The fact of the matter is that worldwide, among human right activists and champions of human dignity, there is a growing concern about the threats to dignity in mental health care. Every day umpteen cases of abuse of mentally unwell persons come to light. Many of these abuses stem from ignorance and a large number of them are perpetrated in violation of all norms of human rights and civic society.

Good news!

The good news is that gradually people around the world are waking up to the gravity of the situation. Research by social scientists into various facets of the problem brings to the fore various areas of concern, needing urgent attention and calling for action.

  • It has been observed that adult mentally ill patients have to suffer social isolation.
  • The focus of curing process needs to start with restoring self-respect and self-esteem.
  • The concept of dignity needs to form part of the governments’ overall mental healthcare policy.
  • Mental health officials and experts need to show respect and dignity towards mentally ill persons while dealing with them.
  • Need to show respect and protect dignity and do away with acts that compromise on both, This are critical steps to early recovery of patients.
  • Problems that need urgent attention are: overcrowded wards, poor quality of workers dealing with mentally ill patients, no arrangements being in place to keep male and female patients in separate wards, lack of facilities and cleanliness of words.
  • It is imperative to ensure curing units are individual patient centric and provide high quality of curing experience for all irrespective of class, colour or creed is provided.
  • Emphasis has to be on good communication and safeguarding of patients’ human-rights.

On the basis of the shortcomings and lacunae in providing dignified mental healthcare, experts have broadly formulated an action plan to effectively deal with people with mental disorder.

  • Show respect: Showing respect and treating a mentally ill person in the same manner as one treats a fellow human being has to be more a norm than exception. Branding people with some insulting tags because he or she is diagnosed with some mental issue is going to do no good to anyone.
  • Individual centric care: Important to make individual’s preferences, needs and aspirations the focal point of all care and attention. This also means showing dignity to both care provider and the care receiver.
  • Prevent abuse: Address incidents of abuses in a case by case basis, Focus should be on prevention of abuse of mentally ill person. Need to sustain the sense of self-respect among people.
  • Communicate well: Proper communication between mental healthcare experts and the users of services helps both. This entails that the experts are well trained in dealing with attitudes and equipped with necessary communication skills to make the difference to patients’ life. To make communication a two way effective process, the patient, too, needs to learn how to communicate well. But to do that he or she may need adequate support.

Avoid discrimination

Finally, it is important to realise the importance of taking on any kind of discrimination against mental illness. Experts say this can be achieved through the collective efforts of individuals, local community initiatives besides national mental health programmes, policy and legislative steps. The bottom line is: The dignity for mental health has to be maintained, at all cost!

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