The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, in partnership with the Armed Forces Medical College has released “Building Positive Health in Nine Simple Steps: Effective Habits for a Healthy Life,”—a simple visual guide designed as easy reference for people to understand the link between lifestyle choices and positive mental health. This guide issued in Hindi and English (and to be followed by other regional languages) is primarily targeted towards an urban audience.
Mental health impacts cognitive, emotional, social and physical functioning. Individuals can take tangible steps to build the resilience required to remain mentally healthy and achieve overall well-being. This guide encourages people to never ignore symptoms of mental ill-health, and to seek support when such issues seem overwhelming. Socio-cultural stigma is one of the key reasons why many people who suffer from mental health issues do not formally acknowledge them or ask for help when needed. The guide highlights that it is normal to experience mental health issues. Stigma is driven by ignorance and prejudice, and results in discrimination against people who are suffering mental health problems. This guide aims to inform and motivate individuals to undertake simple steps, which are backed by scientific evidence, towards building and maintaining mental well-being.