Breaking the silence -overcoming societal hurdles in discussing mental wellbeing

Breaking the silence -overcoming societal hurdles in discussing mental wellbeing

Every single person faces an emotional difficulty once in a while. Like any other physical injury or illness, mental illness also requires proper care and nourishment for healing. India as a country has faced a lot of barriers in the form of stigma and taboos in addressing mental health issues.

In the Monsoon Session of the Rajya Sabha, the Union Health Ministry informed that as of July 2023, India had only 3,372 Clinical Psychologists registered with the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI).

But why has mental health always been a topic less addressed on such a large scale?

There are multiple reasons why.

Let’s try to explore some of the reasons and see how we can overcome them individually and collectively.

Lack of credible information and age-old cultural beliefs

There has been more misinformation and myths surrounding mental wellbeing than accurate information and education. For the longest time, it was believed that mental illness is caused due to supernatural powers or black magic and was looked at through a very judgmental and dismissive lens. Lack of information creates an environment of fear, skepticism, and confusion.

How to overcome?

Seeking adequate and accurate information. Internet provides an ocean of information but it may not always be relevant and accurate. To get more accurate information, refer to credible resources like the Manah Wellness Blog. To understand yourself better and improve your wellbeing, reach out to professionals who can give you the right help.

Fear of being judged or misunderstood

This is one of the biggest concerns and is absolutely valid. If an individual chooses to talk about their struggles in a closed, toxic, and unempathetic environment, they also risk being vulnerable in front of everyone. It comes with the risk of being labeled, judged, and misunderstood.

How to overcome?

Creating safe spaces – it could be through support groups, listening circles, or sharing circles in your organization where you and your teammates won’t feel unsafe and misunderstood. Certified psychologists offer these spaces to individuals as well as groups to open up, and seek help for healing.

You can easily avail of this support provided by Manah Wellness through ‘Heart-It-Out’ sessions and ‘Support Groups’ facilitated by Mental Health Experts for organizational teams like yours. We sensitize your leadership and management teams in identifying mental health issues, offer emotional support, and create an atmosphere where asking for help is seen as an act of bravery.

Unfamiliarity with the vocabulary

It is also important to sensitize society with the right vocabulary to express emotions correctly. Certain unhelpful terms like “crazy”, “abnormal” and “retarded” are potentially very dangerous and can create an environment of fear and isolation for the individual facing those challenges.

How to overcome?

Sensitization workshops are the way to go to address myths and confusion. They also offer an excellent opportunity to get all your questions and concerns answered by the experts in the field.

Unhelpful narratives in society

Growing up, there have been all kinds of narratives around emotional expressions in society. It also includes years of social conditioning statements like “Men don’t cry”, “Women cannot be practical” or “Crying is a sign of weakness”. These narratives led people to hide their pain and suppress their emotions. Keeping your real emotions hidden for a long time may result in an outburst later on.

How to overcome?

If you feel some narratives are no longer helpful and are restricting your emotional expressions, start questioning them. Ask questions and if you don’t feel satisfied with the answer, try to reflect on what is lacking. Human beings are constantly evolving and they are capable of infinite change.

Remember that you are allowed to change your opinion and narrative at any given point. In recent years, especially after the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been an increased awareness about mental health. This is a solid ray of hope that can bring a required change in our society, and in organizations. Be one of the first people to be vocal about what you feel and encourage those around you to speak up.

Lack of appropriate infrastructure

The problem also arises when you want to seek help but don’t know where to turn. Within the healthcare system, only a smaller number of government-funded mental healthcare facilities, hospitals, and clinics are available.

How to overcome?

Online therapy makes it much easier to access help from any corner of the world. If you have no clue whom to approach in times of help and would like to have a confidential counseling session with a qualified therapist, reach out to us at

To bridge the gap between wanting and getting help, you may want to confide in a close colleague or friend, consult with them about therapists you can approach, get your initial fears eased, and proceed with therapy. This approach increases the chances of you reaching out to a therapist and staying in therapy until deemed necessary.

We create these Wellbeing Champions through a 16-hour experiential program, where willing individuals in your organizations sign up and learn the basics of emotional first-aid to be able to comfort distressed individuals in times of need.

To break societal paradigms and create safe spaces for emotional wellbeing enrichment, one of the first places to start is your own organization. Given that we spend 33% of our time at work, it's important to destigmatize mental health conversations and make your organization a happy, healthy place that fosters wellbeing in letter and spirit.

Reach out to us here and we'll get in touch with you right away, to take the first step towards making your company a mental-health-friendly workplace.