The mind is something we Asians obsess about when it belongs to our children and when it relates to achievements at school. Yet many parents among us easily miss signs of ill health. We stay in denial even when we hear about it from celebrities who have chosen to be open about their struggles. We disregard all reasons for caution because of the taboo that even whispers on mental health seem to be still shrouded in.
Imagine though what positive gains we could manage as a community if we simply gather to chat with our kids on topics like depression; on what causes it, on what clinical depression means, and how to overcome the illness. It is an illness, sometimes healed with compassion and love but at other times one that must simply be gotten rid of at the doctor’s clinic. The latter is possible only when someone is attentive and reads the signs. It is highly unlikely that a person with suicidal thoughts would turn up at the hospital all by himself or herself.
The World Health Organisation focus for 2019 is on suicide prevention. An estimated 800,000 people die by suicide every year. It is the second leading cause for deaths for those aged between 15 and 25.
On October 10th, 2019 the world talked about mental health as one that affects all of us. If you know someone who is unusually different in their behaviour, distant, distracted or slacking in their responsibilities, its best to keep an eye on them and stop by for a friendly chat. It could be a life-saving act.