Unequal world….is what comes to mind when we think or hear of this term? A boy who is not able to go to school because he was wheelchair bound after an unfortunate accident and the school was not wheelchair accessible. How I wish his education was not dependent on his ability to walk.
How I wish, along with a foreign language, my school and university also taught me how to talk to that girl I saw on a train who was hard of hearing. How I wish the idea of audio books and braille was as normal as soft copies and hard copies. Well these are a few ways that our society physically favours so called “able-bodied” individuals.
After facing these blatant dicrimination from society, how do you feel about the internal turmoil that people with different abilities feel? But how much do we care about it? According to studies, rate of depression and suicidal ideation are more in people with disabilities due to the constant stigma, discrimination, isolation, abuse and financial stress. Rates of issues related to mental health are not only high but suicidal ideation is also acceptable in a few cultures. Not enough psychologists in India know sign language to even understand the plea of people who are hard of hearing neither are clinics infrastructurally accessible. There are enough reasons to say that mental health is not equally accessible in this unequal world for people with disabilities. But it’s not all dark too, we as a society are trying to make things better. This year India won 19 medals in the Paralympics, and as we know engaging in any sort of activities or sport does have an impact on overall wellbeing. So slowly but surely change is coming.
This year on World Mental Health day, let us all take a pledge on being more accepting and empathetic to people with disabilities
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About the Author.
Drishti Jalan is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.