The world is moving forward, so much progress. I heard Steven Pinker say in one of his talks that during the last 25years, one and a quarter billion people left extreme poverty. So the world IS getting better in many ways. Less wars and less loss of life from natural disasters. More people are getting an education. Externally, it seems to be going well. But what is the situation internally?
Are people richer and more educated when it comes to mental health? Are we thriving and happy? Unfortunately, no. There is a dire need for mental health workers in the West – at least they realize people need help and the people are looking for help. But in my own country, we seem to be oblivious to the fact that people are suffering mentally. Mental illness is looked at with disbelief- many are in denial. Even some of the well-educated seem to think that depression is something you cannot afford to entertain. Just pull up your socks and get on with it – that seems to be the attitude.
The cost of counseling is also a factor. The extremely low cost of a counseling session – between Rs.1000-3,000 (about US$5-15) is still too expensive for most of the people. None of the counselors I know are in this business for the money. In Sri Lanka, counseling is not what you do if you want to make money. Its what you do when you want to give back to the community in some manner. There is an army of volunteers offering free counseling too. But it doesn’t look as if people want to make use of these services.
I have attached below a free e-book for download. It talks about Tom, Dick and Harry who are not the kind of people to go for therapy. I hope those of you who are averse to counseling might change your mind and reach out for help.