There are many features that make up the social determinants of health. The social determinants of health can be described as conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age (WHO 2003). All have their own way of contributing to an individual’s overall health. Taking care of ourselves by exercising, eating healthy, etc all help our health. There are also other factors that we might not think about that have a great impact on our health. Factors such as having access to different resources and care that also affect our health. The access one has to these resources are determined by factors such as politics, culture, etc. As we have seen throughout the course from readings, not all people have access to the same resources. This in affect can determine how one lives their life. This social determinate of health that contributes to the issue of mental health in India that I have chose to discuss is education and public health.
Mental health illness is one that is prevalent around the world. India is the country I have chosen to for this assignment. In India, “Depression is widely prevalent in women in all age groups especially in India where 1.2 billion population lives. In the current scenario of underdiagnosed, untreated cases of females suffering from depression, the hurdles faced by Indian women include inadequate number of mental health professionals, lack of awareness, stigma, disadvantaged position of women, multiple roles, increased levels of stress, and domestic violence” (Srivastava, Bhatia, Bohra 2015). As we have seen, there are many things that affect mental health. Education is an important aspect of a society and is also one that can influence mental health in a community. Being able to teach others the awareness and importance of certain things is vital for change within a community. In this case, it would be vital to educate on mental health and its importance. Starting out in schools can be very helpful. Researchers have found that school services delivered by teachers and professional can help reduce mental health problems in elementary aged children (Ians 2018). Being able to start out in schools lead to the chance of being able to allow other programs to happen.
Implementing mental health awareness programs will significantly help communities. In the article titled, “Mental Health Awareness: The Indian Scenario”, it is stated that, “Mental health awareness campaigns have yielded positive outcomes. Some of the strategies undertaken to target awareness and address stigma around mental illness include participation by family members, sensitization to treatment and social inclusion. Lack of knowledge about the mental illnesses poses a challenge to the mental health care delivery system. Research has highlighted the role of community-based systems in low-income countries and has also yielded positive results in creating awareness, thereby impacting participation” (Srivastava, Chatterjee, Bhat 2016). In addition to bettering the community, it allows for conversation to happen about implementing mental health programs. Having policies and various programs be made that benefit mental health will also strengthen a community and help mental health awareness.
It is important to note that there are many things that can impact one’s mental health. Things like the living conditions of one’s community, support (or lack of it), politics and others all can influence an individual’s mental health. Being able to identify the various determinants of health that contribute to mental illness will be very helpful in identifying a way to fix a worldwide issue.
Ians. (2018, March 3). Teachers may help reduce mental health problems in children, says study. Retrieved from https://www.indiatoday.in/lifestyle/health/story/teachers-may-help-reduce-mental-health-problems-in-children-says-study-1181063-2018-03-03
Srivastava, K., Chatterjee, K., & Bhat, P. (2016). Mental health awareness: The Indian scenario. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 25(2), 131. doi:10.4103/ipj.ipj_45_17
Srivastava, Shruti, Ms Bhatia, and Neena Bohra. “Depression in Women in Indian Context.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry 57, no. 6 (July 2015): 239. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.161485.