Every year the World mental health day is observed on the 10th October. The objective is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
This year the theme is Dignity in Mental Health. Dignity??…What does it mean self respect in the society and to one’s own home? To be worthy of self.
Is it easy for one to show dignity to people with mental illness? Certainly it is possible only if we stop discrimination against them. Today in our society stigma and discrimination is a great challenge. We feel that it’s a curse to the family or to the person. We feel ashamed to talk to them and even to accept them in the society.
Bill Clinton once quoted “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma should shame us all”.
What I liked in the above quote was that it shows acceptance of the mental illness, yes! We have to accept people as they are. We fail to accept people around us because they are not like us. To accept people unconditionally it is a great challenge. What is important is to become conscious of our every action. We may do a lot for people but are we satisfied, and have we made them happy.
I ask this because as a counselor I do my duties according to the schedule and I am done with my job. Where had I given enough respect and love for them?
If I sit and reflect back on my days work, I only see myself doing all that was needed but how did I spend my day with them? Have I managed to give them my love and respect?
Yet times I have even placed conditions to them as I want without realizing what their limitations are.
But I am thankful to Almighty that I am aware of these things, and am working towards the same, for which I as a counselor feel satisfied in what I do.
In the society what can be done is the same, “Awareness”
Mental Illness is not contagious; you can’t catch it by being kind.
We have to show our love for people who have mental health issues. For dignity really means that I deserve the best treatment I can receive and that I have the responsibility to give the best treatment I can to other people. We as human beings accept love and respect from others. Remembering people who have mental health issues, need that too. All we need to do is show them that you care for them, support them in their treatment process, talk to them with kind words and respect them for they too have a loving heart.
Let’s take the first step from today love and be compassionate to all you meet no matter who they are, as it will help you to see people with mental illness with the same eyes too.
Pope Francis once said, “things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things”.
So let’s start showing dignity to people from abnormal to normalcy. And for myself: Be the change that I wish to see in “the world”.