It’s ACTUALLY real !!

Whenever we come across the word ‘health’, most of us consider it in the physical context. However, Dr. Brock Chisholm, the first Director General of the World Health Organisation, in 1954, declared that “without mental health, there can be no true physical health”. This stands very correct, especially in the present environment, when the world is witnessing circumstances possessing the capability to make anybody’s mental health go haywire, with a raging pandemic to a ton of workload on students and adults alike.

Pretty recently, we saw a lot a professional athletes making bold statements on mental health issues, with quite a few of them withdrawing from important international tournaments to look after themselves. One of the first names that comes to mind is that of Naomi Osaka, a Japanese tennis player who holds the top ranking in singles and has also been a four-time Grand Slam singles champion. Osaka withdrew from the French Open this year citing mental health reasons. She was fined $15,000 for skipping the press conference after she won the first round. There was possibility of disqualification or suspension but Naomi justified her decision by saying “Athletes are humans…..Michael Phelps told me that by speaking up, i may have saved a life”. She also emphasised on the importance of mental health in an article titled ‘It’s O.K. to not be O.K.’ in the Time magazine.

The English cricketer, Ben Stokes, who won Man of the Match in the 2019 World Cup Final, and has been the captain of the England Cricket Team when the actual captain wasn’t available, has also taken time off of the five Test series against India to prioritise his mental well being. His decision was duly respected and supported by the entire community.

Similarly, Simone Biles, who’s referred to as the greatest gymnast of all time and “is seemingly adept to defying gravity” having won 30 World Championships, has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics this year, saying,”We have to protect our mind and our body rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do”. She made a bold statement saying,” We want to walk out of here, not be dragged on a stretcher”.

These things have come in the limelight now but sportspersons have taken breaks due to stress and anxiety in the past as well. English cricketer, Marcus Trescothick, in 2006, flew back home from India mid-series and made a sudden decision to retire immediately afterwards with the cricket board stating that it was due to “personal issues caused by an illness”. In 2009, Trescothick published his memoirs wherein it was disclosed that he was suffering from anxiety and possibly depression. Another important player from the world of cricket, Glen Maxwell also admitted the same a couple of years back.

Even tennis champion Serena Williams took a break in 2015 and it was thought to be because of a busy schedule but her coach later revealed that it was because Serena was depressed due to the strong reactions from the audience after she could not win any of the four tennis Majors that year. Australian Basketball star Liz Cambage also withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics this year because of the same reasons.

Mental health has gained much importance lately but we still need a concrete approach to make everybody understand the true need of mental wellness, especially in lesser developed countries. A large part of the Indian population as well is unaware of this fact. They don’t seem to have much understanding of the depressed mental state and feel shy to talk of it. The erstwhile large families have now shrunk to nuclear families thanks to ‘modernisation’ leaving very few persons whom one can open up to. In this context, progressive policies by the government, including lessons on mental health in the education system, spreading awareness through media and certain other methods could help solve the issue. Simone Biles talked about regaining balance and confidence in life by illustrating the significance of talking to family and friends about things that worry you, she talked about therapy and sustained counselling as well and bounced back to win a bronze medal in balance beam in the recent Tokyo Olympics,last Tuesday. Thus, we need to keep in mind that we are never alone and talking always helps, no matter what.

Someone is always there for you!!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    This work has proven to be worthy of appreciation and great critical remarks. Some of the finest words , compiled together to describe one of the most viral problem that the majority of people are facing during the pandemic. Brilliant work Aarushi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thankyou very much, it means a lot:))


  2. seeratprabh says:

    High time these topics are pondered upon and discussed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kaivalyasharma says:

    Just what I needed to read! 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Harish says:

    An Untouched area especially in lesser developed world!

    Friends n Family should always be in your stride!

    Liked by 1 person

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