This perhaps is the most opportune and appropriate time for India to draft a national policy of emotional health. For Indian society is passing through a critical phase of transition. More than half of India is under 25 and this younger digital generation hooked on to the virtual world almost cut ooff from the realities of the society. They are impatient to succeed irrespective of the cost and like to live on their own terms. Older generation of senior citizens is also growing fast as more people live longer thanks to better hygiene and healthcare. They are moulded in traditional family values of sharing, caring and sacrificing for others. Sandwiched between the two is the middle generation is grappling with technology on one hand and trying to find a meeting ground between the self-absorbed and self-obsessed, success at any cost digital generation and the sharing caring and sacrificing older generation. This often leading to chaos in the lives of many causing emotional upheaval of varying severity. A few months ago my octogenarian aunt came from Canada to meet all our relatives in India and to ask of their well-being including offering a financial help to some. She was quite upset when saw one of the son was not looking after his mother. She represents traditional Indian generation who are loving and affectionate at heart. When she visited us, I shared with her my childhood days at our ancestral home in summer vacations. That experience left such an imprint on my heart and mind that I often miss those wonderful days of fun with my 15-20 cousins. The younger generation is too digitally wired to even understand what it meant to be among a large group of cousins in summer vacations as their world revolves around themselves thanks to social dynamics which have changed beyond recognition. So all three generations of our society in transition need a well-designed and targeted national plan to regain emotional wellness in their lives. Time has come to recognise that emotional health is equally if not may be more important than physical health of the nation. Physical health cannot be gained and maintained without emotional health and only a healthy work force can progress and prosper by its full potential. Recognising this, WHO launched an action plan for global emotional wellness in 2013. It’s a time for India to follow the suit.
-Dr Sandeep Vohra, MBBS, MD-Psychiatry, Founder of NoWorryNoTension Healthcare.