Spiritual life: Reflect on mental health

PUBLISHED: 08:30 13 September 2020

Pranav Bhanot wants all faith communities to put a greater focus on mental health issues.

Pranav Bhanot wants all faith communities to put a greater focus on mental health issues.


September 10 marked World Suicide Prevention Day, which serves as an important reminder of the upset and difficulty associated with suicide.

It is also a day to reflect on the importance of ensuring a greater focus and dialogue is created within faith communities on the issue of mental health.

In 2018, suicide rates increased in the UK by 10.9pc, which saw a total of 6,800 deaths.

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Whilst some improvement has been made, it is unfortunate that the concept of “not being OK” is still subject to a degree of stigmatisation within many community and faith groups, including the Hindu community.

In a recent poll conducted by the British Hindu Report team, 51.7pc of the 1,474 British Hindu participants said that they have known someone personally within the past year with a mental health condition. When asked whether the participants felt there was enough support (within the NHS or community groups), 43.3pc said no, 36pc were unsure and only 20.7pc said yes.

Hindu teachings promote non violence in thought, word and deed towards all creatures (including oneself) and it is on this basis suicide is discouraged. However, this must be balanced with the Hindu value of compassion and therefore one justifies the sympathy towards the person or the family of that person who commits it.

Whilst not all suicides can be prevented, a continued effort should be made within all faith groups to ensure people are not only looking after their physical health but also their mental health.

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