Stigma related to mental health is not a new term. It is negative beliefs and attitudes attached towards people suffering from Emotionally and Mentally challenging situations. It is an additional stress for the victim.

Indian culture has its own diverse history of practices relating to the treatment of mental disorders. The stigma attached to mental disorders in India is more extensive as compared to other western countries because of the ancient superstitious beliefs and alternate treatment therapies like ‘mantras’ which acts as an escape for the patient as well as the family members. 

People suffering from mental illness in India report more somatic symptoms rather than emotional. It is important to respect people for their personality and instead of stigmatizing mental patients, their needs should be catered as equivalent to those suffering from any physical illness. 

Some of the ways which can be followed by people to reduce stigmatization against mental patients:

Awareness of mental illnesses among the general population and more specifically among the family members of the patient should be the priority.

Support groups, online and offline support groups for mental health patients is a growing trend in western countries. It provides them opportunities to share and create a non-judgmental attitude.

Breaking myths and knowledge of actual facts is also very necessary. There are numerous myths surrounding mental illness, which prevent patients in many cases to go for treatment and therapies. Educating people on the basis of real facts about such issues helps in reducing stigma.

Labeling- Labeling people or giving them titles of “schizophrenic”, “depressed” without adequate knowledge and diagnosis does more harm than help. It decreases people’s self-esteem and self-confidence and they become more helpless.

Equality- People suffering from mental illnesses should be treated as equal members of society. Just as the needs of physical patients, mental patients should also be considered equal and helped with appropriate services available. 

These and some other points should be taken care of while dealing with Psychologically unwell people. Such people are not a liability but if catered to can prove to be an asset for society.