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Global healthcare advisor Vijay Dhawangale addressing a conference on Mental Health
India, October 11: Oct 10 marks World Mental Health Day, an annual day of recognition dedicated to promoting the understanding of mental health education, awareness, and advocacy. “People often suffer in silence and don’t seek treatment for their conditions because of misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health issues,” said global healthcare advisor Vijay Dhawangale while addressing a conference on Mental Health in an Unequal World hosted by the Global Association for GSP for its corporate members on the eve of World Mental Health Day on Oct 09, 2022.
In India, the contribution of mental illnesses to the total disease burden doubled between 1990 and 2017. Some of these include severe disorders such as autism, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia. However, depression, followed by anxiety disorders, was found to be the most prevalent among the female adult population. As per a research study by Statista, In India, every seventh person suffers from some form of mental disorder. The epidemiology of mental disorders, specific depression on a global scale, has been vastly studied. Today, it is regarded as the leading contributor to disease burden and morbidity worldwide, which may even result in suicide if left untreated. Risk factors relative to developing depressive and anxiety disorders include bullying victimization, childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, and lead exposure as an environmental risk factor which can lead to idiopathic developmental and intellectual disability. Mental illnesses are not only isolated diseases but also act as comorbidities with other disorders. About 42.3% of corporate employees suffer from anxiety and depression, which may cause losses worth 1.03 trillion dollars to the Indian economy. These losses might result from absenteeism or a lack of productivity during working hours.
Vijay points out that the implications of living in quarantine, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in India, were not only a stress trigger but also had negative psychological effects on the population. Indians learnt to adapt to the new normal, which affected every dimension of their lifestyle, i.e. levels of physical activity, sleep cycles, nutrition, and their social lives. In an attempt to cope with this paradigm shift, long bouts of stress caused by enforced isolation, financial stress, job cuts, along with unhealthy lifestyles were the precursors for depression and anxiety. In addition, those already victims of these disorders prior to the pandemic found their conditions to be exacerbated as a result of social isolation and neglect due to overworked healthcare systems.
About Vijay Dhawangale:
Vijay Dhawangale is a philanthropist, mentor, successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist and global healthcare advisor. Passionate about giving back to his community and the world, he is active in many local and global organizations. He is particularly vocal about access to quality healthcare for all.
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