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Is anybody listening?

  • Published at 12:09 am November 9th, 2019
Mental Health Mind
Photo: BIGSTOCK

It becomes imminent to treat such issues before a mental health epidemic is at hand

When it comes to mental health, Bangladesh does not have the best track record.

From failing to comprehend its causes and effects to stigmatizing the conversation around it, when it comes to mental health, we all too often fail those who suffer from it.

As such, it becomes even more worrisome to learn that almost 17% of all Bangladeshi adults are currently suffering from mental health issues, according to a report by the National Institute of Mental Health.

This survey remains a commendable first step towards ensuring the mental health of our population, but the question now becomes: What do we do now? 

With the survey revealing the presence of a host of mental health issues, such as depressive disorder, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, neurocognitive disorders, and a host of others, some of which are also affecting children, it becomes imminent to treat such issues before a mental health epidemic is at hand. 

As suspected, the survey has also revealed the stigma surrounding mental health issues, with many believing that seeing a psychiatrist would make them seem “mad,” with almost 95% of those suffering failing to seek medical attention for their issues.

The health sector’s focus on mental health must increase, and our perceptions of mental health must change.

We hope that the government takes the necessary steps to accomplish this, such as spreading awareness regarding mental health issues, training hospital staff better, and upgrading the psychiatric wards of medical schools and institutions.

It would be disastrous to ignore the implications of mental health issues in our population, and it is time we not only took the right measures on a policy level, but also de-stigmatized its implications.