Why Mental Health Matters

By Meghna Mehra

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TW: Domestic Violence, Mention of suicide, self-harm

Mental Health is as important as the Physical Health of an individual. The state of being healthy includes being healthy on a mental level too. Many people often ignore this aspect of health because either they cannot afford to manage it or they face stigma when they try to manage it. 

Mental Health of LGBTQIA+ and Womxn 

Womxn and LGBTQIA+ individuals face discrimination and prejudice due to patriarchy every day. Managing their lives could become overwhelming due to constant struggles. During Quarantine, Domestic Violence increases making them vulnerable, unsafe. Often domestic violence has a huge impact on their lives. 

Lack of support from families, friends, educational or occupational institutions harms their mental health as every human being needs a support system called friends and family. Healthy workplaces help them cope up with stigma and discrimination.

Workplace discrimination is also a huge aspect affecting their mental health. 

Mental Health when it comes to other marginalized sections like Dalit-Bahujan-Adivasi: An Intersectional Perspective

As far as intersectionality is concerned, some of us face dual, triple oppression due to systematic oppression. Intersectional identities like religion, caste, tribe, race, class are as important as gender identities when it comes to mental health.

Any form of oppression or discrimination affects a person’s self-esteem, confidence levels, peace of mind in the long run. It is harmful to anyone to stay in a hostile environment and many of us cannot afford to escape, hence, we need coping mechanisms and circumstances which can make us strong and have different options like leaving or managing the issues at hand. 

How Quarantine Affects Our Mental Health

Quarantine is a state of staying at home or at a segregated place to avoid getting in contact with others as a preventive measure against communicable disease( In this case it’s COVID-19). But it also means that many of us have to live with abusive family members or stay in jobs where the environment is discriminatory. 

The fear of catching a life-threatening disease can make anyone anxious. This is the worse time for those who already have mental health issues as most of them are sitting inside homes, trying to manage their lives on their own. Access to therapy or medication is not possible for everyone right now which is harmful beyond thinking. This is also the time when people become more prone to suicidal thoughts, self-harm urges, etc. 

It becomes absolutely necessary to focus on checking on each other if we can. Keeping distance physically is something that can prevent the spread of diseases. But, for the mental health of everyone around us, we need to keep talking to them, address and acknowledge their issues.

Mental Health is as important as physical health and it is a mental health crisis during quarantine which makes all of us vulnerable. We need to find our triggers and avoid them to not get too overwhelmed, comfort each other. But most importantly, seek professional help if we can and also demand our state and central government to focus on this too.