Severe disturbances in thought, erratic behaviour at home and office and random outbursts of emotions, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines... Yes, this is a disease. Let's talk about it.
Mental illness has become a common and serious issue. Yet, nobody wants to talk about it in open. This is true, more so in the case of men who are afraid to speak about it due to the associated stereotypes.
Often, mental illness is shrouded in secret because of public stigmas — negative attitudes and beliefs that can create fear, rejection, and discrimination. The consequences of stigmas can infiltrate every aspect of life for people with mental illness. Outcomes may include employment and housing discrimination, segregation and reduced autonomy, trouble developing personal relationships and even diminished or poor treatment for mental health care.
We had the opportunity to get together with Mr. Ramesh Kaushik, Vice President Brand experience at Blackberrys Menswear, to understand what mental illness actually is and how to combat it.
How important do you think mental health has become? Is it real?
Our emotional, as well as social well-being, is the most significant aspect that makes us perform & lead a happy life. The busy lifestyle is crafted with aspirations, but often excess of it leads to stress and mental ailments. India, facing the mental health among men is a concern, and taking an action to control it becomes our duty.
Talking about it openly, and working upon the awareness is the first step to support our loved ones. Blackberrys considers this is as a very crucial step to get rid of the social stigma and address the barrier to their aspirations. The country needs open discussions, awareness programs and campaigns across the country.
Why do men hesitate to talk about mental illness?
The society sees boys as strong & independent, but then, there are the gentlemen who have been dealt a tough hand in life. A social pressure, that states that boys don’t cry has lead to the standard perception, which creates the diversion in their emotional expression.
Men need to rise from the conservative mindset and come out and talk about their mental problems. One can overcome the illness. We need more open discussion and awareness.
Any personal incident you would like to share on this.
It is about being alert about our peers, colleagues, and lend a helping hand to someone who is identified with mental illness, especially when it is in the initial stage. Being more supportive and empathetic to the people around us is the best thing we could ever do to support the cause.
How can one participate in destigmatizing mental health and help raise awareness for a man's wellbeing?
Be someone’s mental support system. In our fast-paced life, people look for support from the loved ones who would be there to listen to their issues. Be there for the person. Guide him. Have an open discussion and consult experts. Do not let the person self-doubt him. Hearing out, and accepting for who they are will help them overcome mental illness.
Tell us about The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride initiative.
Fashion like any creative discipline can play a significant role in creating positive discourse around issues like mental illness. With our recent association with The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, world’s largest motorcycle charity event we are encouraging shoulder to shoulder conversation around the issue. The ride, which is held in 600+ cities across 95+ countries every year, is a part of the worldwide campaign where tens of thousands of men dressed in their finest attire ride astride in their classic motorcycles to raise funds and awareness for mental health in men and prostate cancer. Apart from styling the riders with their stylish suits and accessories, Blackberrys is also urging people through the extensive digital campaign to join the cause and help raise the funds. The brand has been receiving great support and response across social media