Sushant Singh Rajput’s death left everyone shocked and trembling from inside. An outstanding artist, Sushant was sharp, polite, and intelligent. At 34, he had achieved a lot in an industry predominated by nepotism. His suicide presents us with an opportunity to revisit our mental health strategies and revamping our understanding of the broad contours of social, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive dimensions associated with mental health practice in India.
We find growing incidences of people with anxiety, stress, distress, and depression due to the lack of coping mechanisms as many do not report due to the fear of stigmatization by society. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that 7.5% of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorder. Mental illnesses constitute one-sixth of all health-related disorders and India accounts for nearly 15% of the global mental, neurological, and substance abuse disorder burden.
It has also been predicted that by the end of the year 2020, more than 20% of India will suffer from mental illnesses with a requirement of 4,000 health professionals in the country. The young population in the age group of 18-35 is more prone and vulnerable to mental health conditions due to the lack of coping mechanisms and strategies despite having a large pool of networks both online and offline.
Suicides, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder becoming quite common with our youth elucidated in their values and beliefs shaping their perceptions and realities underlying their claims.
A systematic and sustained campaign aimed at focusing on the impact of mental health conditions should become the priority on part of our mental health practitioners and professionals in alliance with psychiatrists and social workers in mapping the effective strategy. Counselling and consultations being a step forward in early diagnosis and cure as along with both educational and medical institutions should organize seminars, symposiums, workshops, and conferences in breaking the taboos and the absurdities associated with mental health conditions in India.
Social media can also become one of the mediums in the narration of the success stories of those who underwent trauma and depression at some point in time in their career and illustrating the finest example in opening the pathways of possibilities for those seeking urgent attention, support, care and aid.