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"Power of 1" -Join the Movement -10 Million Warriors for Mental Health in India

This petition had 258 supporters

Mental illness is secularly secular and affects all caste, class, religion with same ferocity. In India the incidence and severity of mental illness is rapidly increasing.  The latest National Mental Health Survey, 2016 suggests 10  Indians out of 100 suffer  from one or other mental illness. Worse in our life time 1  in 4 of us will suffer from mental illness. WHO estimates that by 2020 Depression itself will be the second largest killer largest killer and the theme of World Health Day 2017 was Depression: Let Us Talk.

Amongst 10 leading causes of disability, five are mental disorders: major depression, bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia, alcohol and substance abuse and obsessive compulsive disorder. Mental Disorder is also key contributor to increasing suicide, suicide attempt and suicidal ideation. With nearly, 200000 annual suicides India already is suicide capital of the world.

The above is a scary situation.

But if business as usual continues future will be far worse. 

Despite above mentally ill in India are victims of extreme level of stigma, discrimination and profiling. Stigma runs so deep in the society that sufferers instead of Owning Up Opening Up and Talking of their Mental Illness are to ashamed of their existence and even the privileged sufferers hide their symptoms.

The less privileged mentally ill are incarcerated at homes, street, beggar homes, prisons and mental asylums devoid of basic human dignity and rights. Ninety persons of sufferers of Mental Illness have no accessibility to treatment. Discrimination against mentally ill is of abominable level and at first instance of their illness they lose all the dignity.

Our combined national response to the pandemonium of Mental Illness has been largely of looking on the other side. After seventy years of independence the plight of mentally is far worse that what it was at the time of independence. The discrimination starts at the level of Constitution of India itself that dubs mentally ill as "persons of unsound mind".  Hundreds of laws openly discriminates against mentally ill. Societal response is one of "chaining them", abusing them, accusing them, vilifying them , denying them their basic rights. It is the exclusion of worst kind.

This just cannot go on. It has to change. And change for mentally ill in India is atrociously slow.

The country has now signed UNCRPD that means inclusion of Mentally ill. Country also has a model Mental Health Policy, 2014. And silver lining has been enactment of New Mental Health Care Act, 2017. This are laudable game changers. But the key is implementation.

Nonetheless, at ground zero condition of a Mentally ill and the societal response to sufferers is fast exacerbating. Stigma is unabated. Lack of education and lack of awareness is of extreme order.

When I gave the call to Nation from Raj Ghat in Delhi on 6th August, 2010 (Erwadi Tragedy Day)-  "Say No to Chain. Embrace Change". I also said the war to  change the Life and Times of Mentally Ill is a 100 Year War and it will need minimum 10 Million Warriors.

So here is my big audacious war to create 10 Missions warriors for Mental Health in India. Come one, come All. The Power of 1 is immense. Stand up. Be counted.

Say No to Stigma, No to Discrimination

Say Yes to Mental Health Education and Awareness

Say "I am for Change, I break free from the Chain 

Join "India Marches Ahead-to remove stigma and create awareness about Mental Illness one person at a time

This petition starts today and will run till  it has 10 Million Warriors


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