It is thought that stigmatizing attitudes come from a lack of awareness and fear. Public health education to increase knowledge around mental illness may be an effective solution for the issue. For this purpose, it is imperative to review reliable sources of information on mental health conditions and become better informed. Given below are the types of sources from which people get information on mental health.
  1. Internet and social media
  2. Government programmes
  3. Print Media
  4. Movies

Internet and Social Media

As we all know there is an abundance of information about anything and everything on the internet.  Unfortunately, not all information on the internet is reliable and this applies to mental health as well. As anyone, including non-experts, can post information to the web, which websites can be trusted could be a challenge. Here is what you can do in this regard. Make sure that you check the information on websites and social media.
  • Who has written it and why?
  • Are they a reliable source?
  • Do they have a particular bias agenda?
  • When was it written? Is it up to date?
  • Is this factual information, or is it someone’s personal experience or opinion? Remember – what’s true for someone else might not be true for you.
  • Is it relevant to my situation?
You can also check out other people’s experiences. You can often find people who have had similar mental health experiences online. Reading other people’s accounts of mental ill-health can help validate your own experiences and make you feel less alone.
You can also connect with other people. Online communities and social media networks can provide you with peer support. Typically, these sites provide you with an online space to talk about symptoms, discuss the side effects of treatment and share support. Some people find it easier to communicate online rather than in person or over the phone. Being online can also help some people talk more honestly about how they are feeling and connect with others, especially if they going through a difficult time.

National and District Mental Health Programs (DMHP)

The DMHP in Kerala includes a Community Mental Health Program for adolescents. The program is implemented in the model of the District Mental Health Program as per the guidelines set by the Government of India. A team of a psychiatrist, medical officer, psychiatric social worker, clinical psychologist, pharmacist and a nursing orderly visits the selected community health centres/primary health centres once a month and gives treatment to the target population. The treatment includes a free supply of medicines and other services.  The programme is run with the support of the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Kozhikode (IMHANS).

Print Media

Printed media like newspapers and magazines are still among the most frequently identified sources of mental health information in India.

Movies

Cinematic representations are thought to be an important source of knowledge on mental health.
  • Toc Toc (2017)
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Devrai (2004) (Marathi)
  • North 24 Kaadham (2013) (Malayalam)
  • Godhi Banna Sadha Maikattu (2016) (Kannada)
  • Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Black Swan (2010)
  • Rain Man (1988)
  • Veyil (2006) (Tamil)
  • Tanmatra(2005) (Malayalam)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • Still Alice (2015)
  • The Aviator (2004)
  • Charlie Bartlett (2008)
  • Vadakku Nokki Yantram (1989) (Malayalam)

MSSF 2020

Project MeHeLP conducted a short film contest to promote mental health literacy & awareness. The theme of the film festival was ‘Mental Health Matters’. The response to this unique endeavour was unprecedented and overwhelming, with around 237 registrations and 77 film entries. The support and participation we received suggest that creative arts including film and theatre performances are a powerful tool to spread awareness on mental health.
You can watch the films here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcyav8zQAsKihHMXutTj_JiaZHASGb8sg

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Causes and Risk Factors