Importance of Psycho Education in India
We are undergoing a vast change in our country in all aspects. Our Economy, Science, Technology, Education, Infrastructure are well recognized anywhere in the world. "Globalization" has become mantra of any Business. Health care and Insurance sector too has come under this umbrella of globalization. Any Indian is aware of insurance facilities and schemes promoted by Government. A similar awareness need to be created in our society regarding the Psycho Education and its benefits to the people. Any word starting with "mental" itself is considered stigma in our country. "Stigma" is so powerful that it is affecting millions of people.
Many people are still unaware of the fact that for many physical illnesses the cause is related with the mind. Research study reveals a fact that cancer, heart attack, Blood pressure; Migraine, body ache etc are all due to some of our own psychological issues. We are more focused on our physical ailment once it starts to affect our day to day life. Many of these illnesses can be averted with proper psychological enlightenment. This needs awareness of psychoeducation to family members and support from insurance sector, medical practitioner, Government policies.
The Importance of Psycho education needs is to be emphasized in all level. Education, Health care sector, Insurance sector, Government policies etc need to play a vital role to eradicate the "Stigma". This can be achieved only by integrating psycho education in the respective field. Let us see what we can do to bring this change.
In our present generation stress, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety etc among students has increased. Instead of labeling a student a school can be very supportive platform by identifying and being supportive in time of need. A depression may occur due to various reasons. A school needs to understand that it is temporary.
By providing a friendly environment, being flexible in grading system and encouraging the student in enhancing other talents can make a big difference. Integrating such students and accepting him/her is like a rebirth for a student. This needs awareness from the bottom layer of any institution. The non teaching staff and faculties need to undergo training, seminar to handle such children. It is very common to see staff discussing the child in front of other students/parents. If a student is under medication for any psychological reason it needs to be kept confidential rather than discussing or informing other students. At the same time the students should be sensitized to such situation through stories, drama, role play, mime etc. Occasionally a talk by professionals such as medical practitioners, psychologist, Educationalist will be very helpful. Rather than the illness the "stigma" created by the illness is very strong. Educational institution needs to be a role model by integrating such children in the normal stream and an arena to eradicate stigma. This is one of the best way to promote psycho education to the society.
Adolescent are major group of population undergoing disorders such as Anorexia Bulimia, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, Anxiety disorders etc. The intensity of "stigma" is also very high among adolescents. Parents and institution needs to accept such disorder and provide orientation programs to bring awareness. Research shows that when a person is more aware of his illness /disorder, the more he is in control of the illness/disorder. Psycho education to the family members aims to consider them as part of the process rather than meager supporter. This brings a turning point in the life of the person as he is being accepted by everyone. A person can overcome the situation at the earliest and move forward in his life. The education policies should be flexible enough to incorporate him in higher studies and should not be a hurdle in his/her Career Ambitions.
When a person visits his General Medical practitioner for check up, the Medical practitioner need to identify what could be the reason for such physical illness. Many people are suffering from psychosomatic illness which is again due to psychological conflict in the mind. The General practitioner after identifying can very well refer to psychologist for psycho education. If the patient is given treatment without identifying it as psycho somatic illness is actually worsening the situation. Rather than experimenting the patient with medicine placebos and psycho education can help the patient for fast recovery.
Recently many insurance companies started to create awareness on Diabetics, Cardiac problem, hyper tension etc. At the same time a patient undergoing medication for any mental illness such as Bipolar disorder, depression, Schizophrenia are not even aware whether they are covered under insurance. A drive on awareness of mental illness and insurance policy coverage for such treatment might help to erase the "stigma". Insurance sector can become a tool for psycho education.
We have seen that Disabled people are given facilities in accessing a hospital, parking area, schools, colleges etc. This acceptance came after a long time drive taken by people from various fields of our society. Similarly their needs a community awareness drive to accept people with mental illness as normal person. A neighbor undergoing any mental illness is treated as abnormal. It is seen that when a person is being taken to a hospital neighbors close their doors and isolate the family. This causes a deep wound in the mind of the family as well as the patient. Social isolation and separation from the society can cause severe trauma in the life of a person. Psycho education through community schools, hospitals, and media can be an eye opener for such people. Any human being will crave for social acceptance and networking. When a family is undergoing a tough time psycho education plays a vital role in imparting coping skills. The goal of psycho education is to promote the re-entry of such patients into community. The patient once returns home after treatment need not be considered as a mental illness patient. He/she should be encouraged to take part in all spheres of life. Social gatherings, community work and social acceptance will boost the self esteem of such people. This helps the individual to come out of "Stigma" as well as to take control of his life.
Recently old age home and community rehabilitation centre for elders have increased. Some of the illness during old age is Dementia, Alzheimer's need psycho education to the family members. The family may be undergoing lot of stress. Psycho education can provide required coping skill and support to the entire family.
NGO can play a vital role in communicating to people regarding the importance of psycho education. A Foundation named L.E.T.S-Lets Erase the Stigma is reaching people across the world. Millions of people are educated and drive is being initiated to Erase the stigma on mental illness. Such effective steps from many more NGO's are need of the time. Educational Institution, Psychologist, Medical practitioners, Community Workers, NGO's , Health sector, Insurance sector all need to work under one umbrella to eradicate the stigma and provide psycho education to our society.