Image Source: Observer Research Foundation
It has been perceived that mental health issues and education for the differently abled children are not taken seriously in Nepal. The country often faces a huge barrier between mental health and physical health. People suffering from these issues do not seek professional help because the society treats the issues as a taboo. Illiteracy, people’s prejudice and lack of awareness induces Nepal’s two of the major problems: ignorance of mental health issues and lack of proper education for differently abled children.
According to the census held in 2011 AD Nepal’s literacy rate is at 65.9%. Upon comparison of this data with a developed nation, the figure stands very low. Even though there is an annual increase in the overall percentage in this regard, there is no such education which includes information about the mental health issues and the problems the differently abled children go through in their day to day life. The other main reason people back away to confront the issues is because of the society they live in.
Our society takes it as a curse to have a child who is differently abled. They find it very difficult to accept the child the way they are. Similarly, people in this country also find it very difficult to talk about the issues related to mental health. The stigmatization associated with mental health and pre-labeling of mental health seeker as “mad” has created an enormous barrier in identifying and addressing mental health issues. The notion of promotion and prevention with respect to mental health is poorly understood in Nepal. People fear others' judgment so much that they prefer to stay quiet and not speak up. Similarly, lack of awareness can be another reason because of which these issues do not receive the required amount of attention.
So many Nepalese do not know about mental health issues. People do not consider having depression or anxiety as being unhealthy. Many of them believe that being depressed or anxious is under one's control. Other mental health issues like Behavioral and Emotional disorders in children, Obsessive compulsive disorder and paranoia are completely unheard by the general Nepalese people. Likewise education for differently abled children is not taken into consideration because people are completely unaware about the institutes that provide such type of education.
In conclusion, for mental health issues and education for differently abled children to a priority the general Nepali population should be aware, educated and impervious. For this to happen the best alternative would be including information about these issues in school curriculum. If the government includes these topics in school curriculum people will be both educated and aware and they will never back away from their issues. They will be confident enough to confront their issues and seek professional help.