May 2017 \ News \ MIND AND BODY
Speaking To A Wider Audience About The Positive Contributions Of Psychiatry

The contemporary world is a complex and stressful place. Most people at some or the other point in their lives stand to benefit by psychiatry. There is however a very disturbing trend.

By Dr Uttam Garg

As national bodies, the Indian Psychiatric Society, Indian Association of Social Psychiatry and Indian Association of Private Psychiatry are actively seeking to establish and maintain sound working relationships with the media via special sessions for media personnel in major conferences. In collaboration with relevant academic institutions, the curricula for undergraduate and postgraduate medical training are being revised; establishing closer links and collaboration with other professional bodies, with patient and family associations, and with other organizations that can be involved in the provision of mental health care and rehabilitation of the mentally ill is also highly desirable.

Reading about people’s own experience of mental illness can promote understanding. While significant public figures in the west have been vocal about their psychiatric problems in the past, recently a mainstream film actress in India spoke about her battle with depression and some films and television features have also treated the subject of mental health with the maturity and sensitivity it deserves.

One should be able to stand up against mental health discrimination wherever it is encountered. This means challenging people who use disrespectful language or tell a ‘nutter on the bus’ joke. It means being willing to befriend and work with someone who has a history of mental illness. Most of all it means being honest about our own experiences of Mental health issues.

—Dr. U C Garg, M.D. is the Secretary, Preventive Psychiatry of WPA