Mental wellbeing is an essential component of holistic health, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya here on Friday.
Launching a Green Ribbon Initiative at an event on the occasion of World Health Day to be celebrated on 10 October, the minister exhorted the gathering to actively address the issue of mental health in India. Spreading awareness about this issue will go a long way in addressing the stigma surrounding it, he said.
The event was organised by the Union Ministry of Health in partnership with Hansraj College, Delhi, to raise awareness on mental health as part of activities being taken up during the Mental Health Awareness Week from October 5 to 10, the ministry said in a statement.
On the occasion, Mandaviya distributed green ribbons among officials of the Union Health Ministry and said, “This green ribbon is a symbol of mental health. We need to spread more and more awareness about mental health in our society.”
He urged Hansraj College students to spread awareness regarding mental health issues among their peers and in the community.
“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 said.
“Out of 10, three students suffer from mental health issues, 14 per cent of our children are suffering from mental health issues,” he added.
Underlining the need to sensitise parents, teachers and other stakeholders to spot and assist young citizens in need of help, Mandaviya said, “We need to have conversations on mental health issues first within the family and gradually include the school environment too… There is a need to train our teachers so that they become capable to easily detect mental health issues in children.”
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.