Stress, work-related tension, over-reliance on technology and overall lack of mental peace, in a combined manner, have given birth to the modern day phenomenon of mental illness.
However what is more worrying is that with the COVID-19 spreading its tentacles rapidly across the world, including India, the need to give greater care to those suffering from mental illness and are now being hit by the virus, increases manifolds.
It is important that people suffering from mental illness are taken into greater confidence and sensitised about COVID-19. Yes, social distancing is the need of the hour, but this should not result in people distancing themselves from somebody who has tested positive to Corona virus.
Rather, people who constitute the family or the immediate neighbourhood of people who are already battling mental illness and have been affected by COVID-19, need to be sensitive towards the patient.
Mental illness – which is largely swept under the carpet, as many consider it a social stigma and are hesitant to discuss about it – is now gradually being accepted as an important part of human psyche which requires urgent care both medically as well as through psychological counselling.
While several psychiatrists and medical practitioners have been working on ways to overcome mental illness, which is mainly a manifestation of growing stress, organisations and bodies all around the world too have been making efforts to device ways to restore peace of mind.
Peacful Mind Foundation (PMF), a global organisation, has been working towards familiarising people all across the world with the importance of seeking psychological care to deal with everyday stress which comes with increasing mental pressure due to growing complexities in workspaces and also personal spheres.
The foundation, which is registered with the United Nations (U.N.) Global Compact based in New Delhi, India, came up with the basic idea of making people at ease with seeking counselling to deal with growing mental stress, and at the same time highlighting the need for greater mental peace.
With its footprints in more than a dozen countries across the world, PMF has been working on fulfilling the twin aims of making psychology a household term and spread general well-being and peace among people.
To achieve this, the foundation has under its wing, several youth ambassadors, activists, leaders, personalities associated with world of mass media as well as mental health experts.
PMF’s global platform – Global Youth Mental Health Forum (GYMHF), a global platform , focusses on the need to give more importance to mental health of youth and to train the youth of today to deal with the psychological pressure and the like.
This is more so as in the highly technology-driven times due to the huge spurt in free flow of information through smartphones which bombard the youth and mainly children with non-stop 24×7 data flow, the unimaginable harm which this bombardment of information has done to their psyche, underlines the significance of providing them with right kind of counselling.
For this, youths are trained in psychological first aid, where in they are sensitised about how they need to communicate with their peers, friends or any one they see or observe undergoing such issue.
To achieve this aim, GYMHF seeks the help of several psychologists, youth mentors and even families, who directly and indirectly help in inculcating the right kind of positiveness among the children and young adults, across the globe.
It also plans to discuss on international platforms these issues, by holding annual brainstorming sessions across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
While emphasising the importance of psychological counselling among children as well as adults, PMF also aims to develop (and has produced) several young ambassadors who as ‘Youth Mental Health envoys’ can spread their message through interactions at school, college and university levels, with the help of workshops, brainstorming sessions and lectures.
PMF also has its own Global Academy of Psychological Sciences, which provides several diploma and certificate courses in the field of mental health, and even offers a course which is specially designed to understand a person’s psyche through his or her handwriting Called grapho Psychology
The organisation has actively been working towards ending the myths aroundmental health by encouraging people of all ages to come out of their self imposed silence and freely talk and share their experiences of combating this Stigma.
Though it is important to maintain social and physical distances as the deadly virus gradually spreads its tentacles to several nations across the globe, the need to stay connected mentally, especially with those already battling mental illnesses, increases all the more.
It is essential to remind those affected by COVID-19 that they are not alone in these challenging times, and that they have support from their families and friends.
The need to fill them with hope and giving pep talk can be an effective tool of counselling, so that all negative thoughts like contemplating suicide or isolating themselves from their families and loved ones, is weeded away from their minds.
Giving hope can be a catalyst towards spreading calm, and PMF volunteers have taken upon themselves to provide the balm of hope and comfort to those afflicted by the deadly virus.