NEW DELHI: Mental wellbeing is an essential component of holistic health and spreading awareness about this issue will go a long way in addressing the stigma surrounding it, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday.
Launching a Green Ribbon Initiative at an event here, the minister exhorted the gathering to actively address the issue of mental health in India.
The event was organised by the Union Ministry of Health in partnership with Hansraj College, Delhi, to raise awareness on mental health as part of activities being taken up during the Mental Health Awareness Week being observed from October 5 to 10, the ministry said in a statement.
October 10 is observed around the world as World Mental Health Day.
On the occasion, Mandaviya distributed green ribbons among officials of the Union Health Ministry and said, "This green ribbon is a symbol of mental health. We need to spread more and more awareness about mental health in our society."
He also urged the students of Hansraj College to spread awareness regarding mental health issues among their peers and in the community.
The minister underscored that all types of health and wellbeing are essential for progress.
"Without healthy individuals, there will not be a healthy family and by extension a healthy society and a healthy nation. Ill health, either physical or mental, leads to poor productivity thereby adversely affecting the growth and productivity of nations," he said.
"Out of 10, three students suffer from mental health issues, 14 per cent of our children are suffering from mental health issues."
Underlining the need to sensitise parents, teachers and other stakeholders to spot and assist young citizens in need of help, Mandaviya said, "We need to have conversations on mental health issues first within the family and gradually include the school environment too."
"We need to train our teachers in such a manner that they will be able to easily detect mental health issues in children."
He added that it is important to recognise, acknowledge and diagnose mental health issues and treat those.