I am doubtful if the Bhutanese took mental health seriously in the past. However, at time like this: when the pattern of our economy is changing, when globalization is diffusing fast into our borders, when our life style is changing, when we are bombarded with information, we must take the mental health seriously.
Time has come where number of people suffering from various mental disorders has increased over the last few years. The number of people visiting the psychiatrist in the capital has increased over the years. The Annual Health Bulletin 2014, reports the total mental disorders of 3520 in 2013 from 3044 in 2012 in the country.
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Anxiety, psychosis, depression and substance abuse are attributes to mental health disorders. However, whether mental disorder is caused by the consumption of alcohol and drug use( psychoactive) or if the consumption of this substance is caused by mental disorder is yet to be found.
One of the probable consequences of mental disorder is suicide. The staggering numbers of suicide from 2010 till October 2013 is 293 cases (reported case). We saw 68 suicide cases just in this year (Zam, 2014). This is a very huge number for small nation like ours.Just few days back, we saw another two youth take their lives.
What does this number show? It shows that something is terribly wrong somewhere. We are either overlooking or complacent about our mental well being. The suicide and suicidal attempt could be due to the ignorance of the parents to their child’s emotions, poor communication, inability of the person to cope up with depression and stress, problems amongst peers and inaccessibility to counseling services.
The increasing mental disorder in the country is the alarm to our society that we need to take mental well being very seriously. Its time where frequent dialogue and communication in the family and between friends must be revived. We must put aside our mobile phones, laptop and television for some time and sit together. Of course, we have mails to respond, meetings to attend, urgent appointments and follow ups to be done. Yet in our busy schedules, we should find time for our families and friends to do that little exchange of dialogues.
The government is making some intervention. The counseling facilities will be made available to all walks of life. If a person feels that he/she has mental disorders, the person must come forward to avail these services. They must talk and not hesitate to come forward to get help.
Ministry of Health. (2013). Annual Health Bulletin
Ministry of Health. (2014).Annual Health Bulletin
Zam, N. (2014). Bhutan Sees 68 Death By Suicide Cases So Far This Year. Retrieved from www.thebhutanese.bt