Recently, actor Deepika Padukone’s The Live, Laugh, Laugh Foundation released its report on public perception about mental health. Initiatives like this and increased awareness on social media and pop culture seems to be finally breaking the stigma one associates with mental health. And rightly too. Mental health helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. And so it is significant that we start right from childhood.

Society is waking up to serious consequences of bullying, stress of studies, depression and anxiety at a very young age. It is also important that children know how to recognize and deal with mental health issues.

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The Health Collective Founder-Editor, Amrita Tripathi says, “It’s essential to raise awareness early on. To promote good mental health, to understand stress, to know how to protect one’s own emotional health. To know how to ask for help when we are feeling distressed or when someone is bothering us (whether it’s bullying or abuse of any kind)—if we don’t equip children with these tools and help them find their words, we’re doing them a grave disservice.”

It is a digital platform where anyone can talk about various illnesses related to mental health without revealing their identity.

Involving the young generation

There is still a lot of misinformation and stereotyping of illnesses that are related to one’s mental health and society can only eradicate this by involving the young generation into gaining knowledge about the issue—what causes it? How to deal with it? Where to find help and how to sensitize everyone around them to such illnesses?

“To promote good mental health, to understand stress, to know how to protect one’s own emotional health. To know how to ask for help when we are feeling distressed or when someone is bothering us (whether it’s bullying or abuse of any kind)—if we don’t equip children with these tools and help them find their words, we’re doing them a grave disservice”

Neerja Birla, who started Mpower Minds, to add to the discourse of mental health awareness among young children, told SheThePeople.TV, “The only way to create awareness is to initiate and encourage dialogue about it.”

Birla conducts cycle rides and concerts among many other events to spread awareness about the issue.

“While it starts at home, but nowadays there’s a lot that is available on social media, on YouTube. So even if you read up on it, it will give you good awareness because many times the older generation isn’t aware. So if the youth takes it upon itself to be aware and make their families aware, I think that’s a good start,” said Birla.

What is necessary to understand is that mental health is no joke. It has serious outcomes and the quicker we address it, the better.

Picture credit- EParent

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