Ministry’s depression poster dismays experts

What should you do if you are suffering from depression? Well, if the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s poster is anything to go by, dealing with depression only needs these — positive thinking, taking a walk, eating multivitamin pills and fruits, being creative, taking rest, staying clean, practising yoga and indulging in travel.

Nowhere does the poster mention anything about seeking medical help or consulting a psychiatrist.

Tweeted by the Ministry earlier this week, the poster has come under criticism. Senior officials in the Ministry insist that it “only indicates a holistic view towards healthy living and should not be taken as any specific advice on treatment”. But experts and organisations working to create awareness about depression have called the poster “naive”, adding that it will do more harm than good. The Indian Psychiatric Society is all set to write to the Ministry to express its “disapproval”.

Dhanvantari Mindcare, which works in the area of mental health services, said in a tweet: “People with depression cant think positive. That’s the definition of depression. Telling them to do so, is like telling a person with cataract to open his eyes and see clearly. Seeking help in depression, which is life saving, is not a part of this, why? (sic)”

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