The pandemic has changed something for good

Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 07:15 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Under different circumstances, we have seen that those seeking therapy or some kind of help are mocked or at some level, shamed into feeling that they are unable to tackle their problems on their own

This picture has been used for representation purpose only
This picture has been used for representation purpose only

One of the fallouts of the Coronavirus outbreak is the slew of helplines that have started concentrating on the mental health of the population. Without going into the merits or shortcomings of the initiative, this edit is about the larger perspective.

The fact that such measures have been taken, is an acknowledgement of the need to address the anxiety and fear of people. There are experts and trained counsellors, including therapists on the line, disseminating knowledge and dealing with numerous problems and doubts.

This should also go some way in chipping away at the stigma associated with mental health problems. That such a large number of persons can and do avail of these facilities should show us that there is no shame in seeking such help.

Under different circumstances, we have seen that those seeking therapy or some kind of help are mocked or at some level, shamed into feeling that they are unable to tackle their problems on their own.

In many cases, families hide the fact that one of their own is going to a mental health counsellor, for precisely the same reason, they are afraid of being ridiculed or humiliated in some ways.

Mental health professionals in India have acknowledged that barriers are breaking down, perceptions are changing to some extent. Yet, we do have a long way to go towards obliterating unfortunate myths and the derogatory lens through which mental health is looked at here.

Coronavirus qualms have brought mental health into the mainstream in a way. Experts talk about how the great challenge to the human race may alter us forever in some ways. This change in attitude may be one of them. That it took such a dire scenario to bring that about is a sobering thought.

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