Presenting Mind Matters
Mental Health, you ask?
Let’s talk about the big elephant in the room — mental illnesses. As of now, 5% of India’s population suffers from mental illnesses and issues related to mental health. Half of this fraction, which amounts to 50 million people in the country, goes without any treatment, diagnosis or counseling. For a population of 1.2 billion people, there is only one psychiatrist for every 4 lakh Indians.
While a lack of adequate diagnostic services, counseling, political will and state support add to the issue, what makes it even worse is our attitude towards it. We, as a society, have either denied its existence or looked down upon and judged those who struggle with it.
We have a plan.
Introducing Mind Matters — an action-oriented project to enrich the discourse on mental health.
The need of the hour is to have socially progressive, de-stigmatized discussions on the importance of openly talking about mental health. Mind Matters is an initiative to spread awareness, work on action-oriented campaigns, and legislative intervention for more sensitive and inclusive policies for people living with mental illnesses. We’re trying to approach these crucial obstacles in these 3 ways –
- Get the word out there
Mental illness is no Voldemort — we can talk about it, guys! The lack of acceptance in society is a big reason why people often don’t come out and talk about their person struggles with mental well-being. This might lead to an insensitive and misinformed outlook, the lack of will to seek therapy and treatment, and therefore, a more stigmatized and prejudiced approach to mental illnesses.
We need a two-way dialogue. Through people’s personal narratives, we want to do away with the stigma associated with mental illness and bring the discourse around mental health to the forefront and our drawing rooms, all while building an ecosystem of people who can reach out to others and extend support. Your stories of struggle, courage, and hope will help Mind Matters carve out this space.
Discussing the issue at hand can only help so much. We need campaigns and events that engage people and make a real impact on the ground. Mental Health encompasses a host of issues, each needing dedicated time and understanding to deliver. Through our focused, people-powered campaigns- both online and offline- we aim to contribute to raising the level of understanding and awareness around mental health and engage people to be a part of the solution to combat mental illness.
3. Translating People-Power.
Currently, there are just 4,000 psychiatrists, 1000 psychologists and 3,000 social workers for the entire country. All this, while our government spends less than 1 % of its total health budget on mental illness. This increases the gap between people who seek support and treatment and the support provided by Government to us. There’s clearly a problem at the policy level.
Mind Matters came out of an understanding that we require more penetrative, supportive, sensitive and sustainable policies to safeguard and provide for people with mental illnesses.
Legislative action will help bridge this disparity, but that won’t happen until people get together and put pressure on the government to do so. Thus, amidst all our plans and action strategy, organizing and mobilizing people to demand a stronger and more comprehensible policy on mental health is at the forefront.
How can you help?
- Share your story with us!
We want to know your personal stories and experiences about mental illnesses. There’s a need for narratives of struggle, courage and hope to be put out there, send it to us and we’ll publish it on our blog and Social Media channels.
- Got ideas and suggestions? Hop on and ideate with us.
We have our ears to the ground! If you think you have ideas to contribute or can help us design campaigns to achieve tangible impact and milestones through our journey, get in touch with us. What have you observed? What are the changes you want to see? We want to hear it from you.
We are also seeking out people who would love to use their understanding of the community and legislative mechanics to put pressure on the government. If you are someone who can help us do this, hop on board!
- Collaborative effort.
We firmly believe in community-powered projects and collaborative leadership. If you think you can contribute to the project with your art, skill, or expertise, we request you to join us.
Does Mind Matters have a website? How do I get in touch with you?
Currently, no. We’ve just started out and though we have a lot of ideas and strategies to implement them, not everything is ready for you to see. However, following the philosophy of Design Thinking and Rapid Prototyping, which calls for putting out the first version of your product as fast as possible, we are kick-starting the project right away with whatever medium and resources we have right now. We have a Facebook page, a Medium Blog, a Twitter handle, and an email ID. You can email us your queries, submissions, feedback and interests to email@example.com. We’re very keen to hear from you!
Show us your support.
As we mentioned, Mind Matters has just arrived. We need your help to reach across to people who can make use of this project in creative and innovative ways. Subscribe to our pages on Medium, Facebook and Twitter so we’re in touch with all of you. This will help us deliver better and be involved in grassroots mobilization both digitally, and offline.
Let’s do this.