Mental Health in Nepal: An Overview
Mental health - what was once an unfamiliar, unobserved, or even completely disregarded aspect of overall health is now being recognized as one of the most important. Our evolving society is finally coming to terms with the fact that mental health not only matters, but is essential to the condition of our everyday lives.
October 10 marks World Mental Health Day. It’s celebrated as an initiative for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. “What social stigma?”, you might ask.
Consider these scenarios. Sneha starts cancelling plans and decides to stay in rather than go out with friends. They call her boring and anti-social. Sonam is frequently upset or irritated. His family says that he’s moody and unfriendly. Sarita is often tired at work and calls in sick. Hrer co-workers complain about how she is lazy and a slacker.
Chances are, you have probably experienced one of the above scenarios. These are social stigmas. But how can we break these, and why is it important to do so?
Breaking this stigma means helping them. To start, it’s important to eliminate the negative connotations that are associated with mental health in Nepal. Many of these are signs of clinical depression. Rather than making assumptions about people, ask your friend, family member, or co-worker how they are doing.
This social stigma is seemingly prevalent in Nepal. There is a misconceived notion that anyone with mental health issues is crazy, delusional, or perhaps, “possessed by an evil spirit”. In order to eliminate this, it’s important to educate people about mental health in Nepal.
What is mental health in Nepal anyway?
Mental health is simply defined as, “Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” In essence, it’s the state of being in control of your own situation. You don’t submit to any psychological pressure, intense feelings of guilt, or become emotionally shut.
When people think about mental health, they immediately relate it to mental illnesses. However, when we say mental health in Nepal, we mean positive mental health. Fundamentally, positive mental health in Nepal means a positive sense of wellbeing. This includes your individual resources like self-esteem, optimism, and your ability to initiate. With positive mental health in Nepal, you can develop and sustain happy personal relationships, and deal with stress better than ever before.
- One in four people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives. In addition, nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional.
- Globally, 800,000 people die from suicide every year. Considering mental health in Nepal, the annual suicide rate is 8.8 percent.
- Elderly women and young adults have much higher suicide rates in middle and low- income countries like Nepal.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common mental and neurological disorders among the 60+ age group are dementia and depression.
- Compared to developed countries, there is a higher prevalence of depression amongst the elderly in Nepal. This indicates that mental health issues are one of the most pressing aging health concerns in Nepal.
- Depression and lack of nutrition negatively affect life satisfaction among the Nepalese elderly.
- A study on mental health in Nepal by Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) shows that over 38.7 percent of older people feel loneliness at a moderate level. On the contrary, 16.9 percent of them feel loneliness at a severe level. In total, 49.2% of the older population (aged 60 and above) is found to be depressed.
Mental Health in Nepal: A Step Towards Change
Despite the concerns of mental health in Nepal, the Nepalese are gradually becoming aware of mental health issues. This is thanks to the advent of social media, the growing encouragement of self-care needs, and yes - even popular TV shows and movies that address this important subject.
Along with the National Mental Health Policy, there is a network within the health service system where mental health in Nepal will be integrated. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and World Health Organization (WHO) have collaborated to work on a project titled, “National Mental Health Survey”. This project is expected to provide an analytical assessment of mental health in Nepal.
Looking for mental health services in Nepal?
Mental health in Nepal is gradually becoming a statement of concern. Mental healthcare in Nepal is at its early stage. When it comes to the progression of improvements of mental health in Nepal, Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Psychotherapy, along with Nutrition & Dietetics, play a vital role. Currently, top-notch hospitals like Norvic International Hospital have, and continue to provide mental health services in Nepal.
When seeking healthcare, a major issue that arises is the long queue at the doctor’s office. At Embrace HealthNet, we solve this problem for you. We're here 24/7 - you can simply contact us to inquire about appointments online. Furthermore, our partnership with Norvic International Hospital ensures that you get nothing but the best for your health.
We understand the importance of self-care education, informing you and your family of the most effective ways to understand mental health in Nepal. We consider our relationship with you to be a partnership for good health. Thus, we connect you and your loved ones to your healthcare needs.
Embrace HealthNet - We share your care.