On October 10th, World Mental Health Day was observed in India as well as across the world. There were numerous tweet chats, campaigns (on and off social media) and our social media timelines were full of mental health awareness graphics and information.
To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed. Mental health awareness is much needed in a country like ours where there is a huge gap in providing support with there being only one professional available for every 1,00,000 people. Yet I felt inundated with information on the problem even as there was very little on things we could do to improve our individual and collective mental well-being. Recognising this imbalance, I have been documenting my own healing journey from mental health conditions and chronic illnesses in my personal newsletter to publicly discuss both the difficulties of living with illnesses as well as what I do to feel better.
This got us thinking at The Curio-City Collective about how people understand and define mental well-being and the variety of methods that they develop to cope and heal in their daily lives. We asked our friends and family about this and were surprised by the number of people who replied! We put these responses together on our newly launched Medium page.
This collection of responses shows us how the definition of mental well-being changes based on each individual’s unique emotional, physical and psychological environment and circumstances – something many psychologists and mental health awareness activists have been increasingly pointing out. Mental health cannot be isolated and understood without learning the impacts of one’s social, cultural and political environment. This approach also emphasises that we can respond at an individual level but when response systems are geared to addressing society as a whole, the mental health care gap reduces.
We hope you enjoy this newsletter. You can share your responses with us by replying to this email. We look forward to them!