“Mental Health is an essential component of Holistic Health and awareness on it will go a long way to address the stigma surrounding it”. Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare stated this as he launched the Green Ribbon Initiative, here today. The event was organised by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in partnership with Hansraj College, Delhi to raise awareness on Mental Health as part of the activities being taken up during ongoing Mental Health Awareness Week, 5th-10th October.
10th October is observed around the world as World Mental Health Day.
On the occasion, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya distributed green ribbons among the officials of the Union Health Ministry and media persons present to spread awareness regarding mental health. He also urged the students of Hansraj College to spread awareness regarding mental health issues among their peers and in the community.
Distributing green ribbons among senior officials, he said, “This green ribbon is a symbol of mental health. We need to spread more and more awareness about mental health in our society.” Dr. Mandaviya underscored that all types of Health and Wellbeing are essential for progress. “Without healthy individuals, there will not be a healthy family and by extension a healthy society and a healthy nation. Ill health, either physical or mental, leads to poor productivity thereby adversely affecting the growth and productivity of nations”, he stated.
The Minister also exhorted the gathering to actively address the issue of Mental Health in India: “Out of ten, three students suffer from mental health issues. 14% of our children are suffering from mental health issues.” He spoke on the need to sensitize parents, teachers and other stakeholders to spot and assist young citizens in need of help. He observed, “We need to the conversation on mental health issues first within the family and gradually include the school environment too. We need to train our teachers in such a manner that they will be able to easily detect mental health issues in children”. He further stated that it is important to recognise, acknowledge and diagnose a mental health issue and treat it as such.”
Dr. Sunil Kumar, Director General of Health Services, Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary and Mission Director (National Health Mission), Vishal Chouhan, Joint Secretary (Policy) and other senior Health Ministry officials were present on the occasion.