- Mahak Jain
Importance of Mental Health Awareness Among Underprivileged Communities
The leaders of the Akhil Bharatiya Adarsh Chaurasia Mahasabha have been at the forefront when it comes to talking about issues that are often ignored among marginalized communities. Mr Ramesh Chaurasia is the president of the organization and actively leads the people of his community.
Mr Ramesh Lakhulal Chaurasia said at one of the mental health awareness seminars, “Mental health is a topic which is often left ignored in Indian society. When it comes to people from marginal communities, this topic is not just ignored but is considered borderline taboo. This is something that we are working on and hope to improve. I strongly believe that this can be changed with increased awareness. With increased awareness about mental health and wellbeing, a lot of things are going to improve for the community. Not everyone thinks about marginal communities and certainly not about their mental health. It is surprising how many people don’t know about the high-stress levels among people from marginalized sections of every community. When it comes to women and children, the situation is even worse because we are not conditioned as a society to pay attention to the weaker segments. This is why we have started special initiatives targeted toward women and children. Our organization, the Akhil Bharatiya Adarsh Chaurasia Mahasabha is working in every way possible for the Chaurasia-Tamboli community so that it is ensured that no individual suffers due to poor mental health or related illness.”
Our organization has started several initiatives which are targeted towards spreading awareness about the risks regarding mental health that some sections of our society face more than others.”
— Ramesh Chaurasia
High levels of stress and low awareness as the main factors
It is often seen that there is a severe lack of awareness about mental health among uneducated sections of society. People suffering from mental health problems or disorders are often found to be neglected to the point of being cast out of society. It has been seen many times that due to the lack of awareness, family members feel clueless about any condition that someone might have. There are times when the disorders are quite extreme and the ones afflicted are kept locked inside the house or even disowned by their families. This is a very unfortunate situation. The rates of stress are already very high among less privileged sections of the society due to their nature of work and their general lifestyle filled with hardship. They are also not known to have access to the luxuries and comforts that other sections of society enjoy to reduce their levels of stress. Several additional factors create an atmosphere where an individual is afraid to ask for help from anyone in their community. Experts in mental health believe that this can be mitigated with increased awareness about mental health and illness along with readily available channels to get help.
“Our organization has started several initiatives which are targeted specifically towards spreading awareness about the risks regarding mental health that some sections of our society face more than others. We make sure that regular counselling sessions are organized where community members are invited. They are given access to services that would be otherwise out of their reach. We also invite child counsellors who specialize in dealing with children who grow up in households where all members of the house are working. More women are encouraged to form stronger women centric communities so that they can reduce their levels of stress by sharing their problems with other women. Children are encouraged to communicate everything with their parents and siblings so that they can have a better understanding of the world.
Community events are organized where all members of our community are invited so that they can interact with each other. This ensures better communication among different members from different age groups where they enjoy and share their experiences with each other. These efforts combined have shown great results and we are seeing more people coming out to discuss their mental health and well being with each other. They know that help is readily available through us or other members of their community.” – A senior volunteer who works with the Mahasabha at one of the events said about the results of their efforts.
A community indeed derives its strength from teamwork and communication. When people think of their community as an extended family, they can feel safe and comfortable about things that they did not even know before. Mr Ramesh Chaurasia, as a philanthropist and the president of the Mahasabha, works along with an extended team and ensures that the Chaurasia-Tamboli community is joined together as one large family.