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Mental Health: It’s Time to Create a Space for Talk

Abha Agarwal. Counselling Psychologist

These days, I see everyone talking about anxiety in a casual manner. Just two days back, I happen to overhear someone saying, “I think, my friend is going through anxiety. He is always sad, not talking properly, being in his own shell. I think I also have anxiety and will give him the medicine that I’m taking.”

Description: Mental Health

I was aghast! How someone can give the medicine to the other person when one doesn’t what problem they themselves are going through! Are they really qualified to do so?

The whole issue around mental health is being taken lightly by all of us. All problems boil down to either depression or anxiety. Being sad doesn’t mean one has anxiety or one is in depression.

Mental health is much more than this. It’s a way of life. It’s the way we think, behave and act. The way we think about certain situations, our experiences, our beliefs, our action and reaction determines our mental health.

We all are unique and all of us act and respond in a different way. This is what makes us different from others. No one is wrong or right here. The choice that one makes really depends on one’s perspective.

This perspective is what essentially differentiates us from each other. Our environment, genetics, our upbringing, experiences come together to shape us into a person who we actually are. These factors also determine our mental health, i.e. how we think about certain situation, how we feel and how we respond to it.

Mental health forms the very basis of human beings. That means we need to be more aware about the mental health issues. According to the “The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) 2018 National Survey Report: How India Perceives Mental Health”, one of the main reasons why individuals with mental health concerns do not seek professional help is because they might not recognize the symptoms as signs of mental illness. For example, for someone suffering from depression, observable symptoms such as low motivation and sleeping excessively might be misattributed to laziness.


Suicide is the leading cause of death among those aged 15–29 in India (Kalpana Shrivastava et al.,2016) .  Adolescents’ behavior often goes unnoticed. We usually think, “It’s just a phase. They will be alright.” But no one address their issues and students themselves feel hesitant to talk about their concerns.

It’s time we do not take the matter of mental health lightly.  Let’s create a time and space to start a conversation about it. Talking openly about mental health can reduce the misconceptions and stigma, and can encourage those who are suffering to seek help and find a support network.

(Ms. Abha Agarwal is a Counselling Psychologist based in Siliguri with over 14 years of experience. She deals with issues related to anxiety, stress, parent-child-family relationship, behavioural concerns in children/teens, mobile addiction. Contact: 9733217536. Online consultations available. FB profile: Counseling.Psychologist.Siliguri/ Instagram profile: abha_counselling_psychologist/)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi