Laying the foundation for a robust Public Mental Health with Mental Health Education

1 Fellowship Scholar Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS, Bangalore

2 Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS, Bangalore

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology NIMHANS

Abstract

Mental illness places a huge socioeconomic burden on the community and is hence a major public health issue. One in four adults suffers from some or the other forms of mental illness in any given year. Mental Health along with physical health accrues the strong foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing. Shortage of Mental Health services is an issue of significant concern with Mental Health Systems becoming overburdened and short-staffed. One cost effective way of reducing this ever-increasing burden is by early prevention and promotion in mental health. Public Mental Health primarily works on promotion of mental health that allows people to embrace healthy lifestyles and foster environments that are conducive of good health. Mental Health can be enhanced by effective public health interventions. One of the core essential and important services of Public Health is Policy development through Information, Education, and Empowerment of people about health issues using culturally appropriate Health Education methodologies. This can bring down the stigma by creating awareness on prevalence of various Mental Health problems and services available that would enable one to reach out and seek help at the right time. Sharing the knowledge and skills more efficiently through good Mental Health Education practices can enhance the Mental Health literacy of the population and thereby contribute to the overall public Mental Health.

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