If you’re active on social media, you must be knowing that mental health has recently got the much-needed attention due to celebrities and TV shows talking about it as a primary point of conversation. Better late than never, the world realized that mental health is equally or rather more important than physical health. Mental health wears an invisible cloak, hard to diagnose, but it shelters behind the prettiest smile and grows up furiously, sometimes unnoticeably.

World mental health day

For beginners, What is Mental Health? Mental health deal with your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It changes how you think or act over a situation. Mental Health determines how we handle stress in day to day life, and make decisions in everyday choices. Mental health doesn’t have a certain age group, it starts showing up from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Every year The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes World Mental Health day to spread awareness and talk about the various aspects that come under the huge dark umbrella of mental health. This year, World Mental Health day is focusing on youth and their mental health in the changing world. Gympik got an honorable opportunity to interview – Hope Trust – Asia’s leading Rehab center, and get the insight on youth and their mental health.

Rajeshwari Luther - Hope Trust

We connected with Dr. Rajeshwari Luther, who’s the  Director and an Addiction Therapist at Hope Trust. Her immense experience in dealing with youth suffering from mental health and substance abuse gave us a deep understanding of the chaotic mind of youth. It’s not easy to be a part of the world that demands beyond the bandwidth and it’s not at all easy when it takes a toll on the mental health.

Gympik: What do you think about this year’s World Mental Health Day theme – Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World?

Hope Trust: The youths are increasingly facing new challenges in a rapidly changing world. The changing world comes with both advancement and pitfalls. Youth being the spine of any nation, face everything in the upfront from the difference of opinions to over expectation. The rat race of the changing world increases mental instability and disturbs the subconscious mind, making them  feel exhausted and vulnerable.

Gympik: What are the crucial problems the youth are facing in this chaotic digital world?

Hope Trust: The digital world has surely connected the world horizons and unlocked the human potential to reach out far and wide. But like every other good thing, the internet has a dark gateway that opens up to horrendous elements. Social media bullying and living up to the expectation of virtual world (read followers) is a serious epidemic that’s growing like a wildfire. Internet addiction, stress with the competitive environment, lack of appropriate parental guidance, high digital stimuli, lack of real-world social interaction that is disconnected to reality are the extended negative factors of the digital world.

Youth and digital world

You may also like to read – Teenage Depression and how to not give up!

Gympik: What are the measures that the youths can take to stay away from social media bullying and exposure to the negative side of media?

Hope Trust: There’s no escape from social media, it’s a ‘can’t live with – can’t live without it’ kind of option we are left with. There are certain measures that can be taken to keep your heads off the intangible social media web. It may sound uncool to you as a youth but parental guidance is important and always keep you in the green zone. The awareness of the dangers of online bullying and enhanced privacy settings on social media sites also help to keep the stalkers and masked social mongers away from you.

Gympik: How the youths can deal with the vulnerability and its effects in day to day life?

Hope Trust: The youths are exposed to a wide arena of entertainment and distraction that does not include physical drainage or unwinding of mental cables. More focus on physical activities like working out, playing any kind of sports or indulging into a hobby nurture the mind and develop a healthy interest in living a happier life. Instead of texting until you fall asleep or just scrolling down on social media feed, reading hard copies of books actually helps to give a sound sleep and calms your mind. The vulnerability is like a thin sheet of paper, the more you stress on it, the quicker it reaches to the breaking point.

You may also like to read – 4 Tips to unlock the secret of positive thinking.

Gympik: On a global level, how threatening is it for the third generation to fall prey to mental illness?

Hope Trust: Mental illness is partly hereditary and partly induced by the environment. The later can be controlled in some measure. Access to therapy and de-stigmatization of mental health issues and awareness shall help. The world is already comfortable talking about mental health and that gives the youths a perfect environment to come out of their shell and talk about their mental issues. It can be anything from a bothersome situation to anxiety attacks, it’s good to address the concerns when they are still in a seed form.

Mental illness in youth

Gympik: What do parents need to understand with respect to the impact of social media on mental health?

Hope Trust: Social media can negatively impact the perspectives of youth. A healthy, positive and interactive environment at home is the best way to recognize and manage the issue with the youth. The parents should play an important part in their life so that it’s easier for the youths to open up and reach out to them in time of  any bothersome issues. There’s a thin line between parents and kids which needs to alter for the kids to rely more on their parents emotionally than to look for a warmth in strangers which often leads to disappointment and sometimes leads to grievous experiences.

World Mental Health Day is an excellent opportunity to speak up and spread the awareness. There’s so much that a healthy mind can do, nurture it, give it what it asks for by seeking out for a help. It’s always wise to talk about your concerns even when you think it’s silly and petty. We want you all to confide in your parents, friends, loved ones or someone you trust to build a healthy relationship, get away from the toxicity and live your best life. Share this article with someone who you think needs some emotional care and help. Let them know, there’s a helping hand out there and they’re very much embraced for who they are!

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A casual hippie at heart, Sachin Pandey is an aspiring wanderer, occasional poet, and collector of quotes. Born with a love for feline and a wit for humor, he fancies all things vintage!

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