Nhân sự kiện chuỗi Triển lãm Giáo dục Quốc tế VNIS - Mùa Thu 2016, nhằm tạo điều kiện cho các bạn trẻ độ tuổi từ 13 đến 22 có cơ hội thể hiện bản thân, khơi dậy kỹ năng sáng tạo thông qua các bài viết. Từ ngày 25/8 đến ngày 5/9/2016 VNIS Education tổ chức cuộc thi viết luận với chủ đề “Cùng VNIS Xây Dựng Tương Lai – I Build My Future”. Chúng tôi muốn qua chương trình này gửi tới các bạn trẻ thông điệp về sự phát triển tương lai thông qua con đường học tập.
Sau đây là Bài dự thi đã đoạt giải Nhất của cuộc thi đến từ bạn Thành Hữu Hà Anh (sinh năm 1999 đến từ Hà Nội).
1. What changes do you want to make for your country and for the world?
The United States Declaration of Independence stated that all human beings have the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is also the case when it comes to the mentally ill in Vietnam and all around the world. They deserve the right to be in control of their life, to free themselves from their disorders and to find happiness for themselves without the shackles of social stigma.
Mental illnesses interfere with the way people think, feel, act and limit their opportunities in life. Despite all this, there is a lack of commitment to mental problems in South-East Asian countries, including Vietnam. While Vietnam does have mental health legislation to protect human rights, it has no national mental health program to raise public awareness on mental illnesses and the needs of those afflicted with them.
On this note, I hope to create and promulgate programs which will firstly, educate the public on mental disorders to equip them with knowledge on such illnesses and to eradicate stigmatizing stereotypes. Vietnamese people are still quite conservative when it comes to mental illness, considering it not to be as serious as physical illness and labeling people with such disorders “crazy” or “weird”, thus reinforcing the stigma attached to mental disorders and causing many to be reluctant to seek help. Understanding the symptoms, causes, types and perspectives will help dispel false ideas about psychological disorders and promote a culture of acceptance among citizens. This will also spur people to identify the illness at an early stage and have a better chance at recovery.
Additionally, these programs will consist of support groups and help lines, which is conducive to one’s recovery. People with mental illness should know that there are those out there who are going through or have gone through what they are experiencing and understand their struggle, thereby giving them the courage and support to get treatment and preventing suicidal behavior. Moreover, the aforementioned programs aim to provide people with access to professional therapy and medication and hold fundraising events to help the mentally ill in their battle against their disorders as the treatment expenses are not at all cheap.
Should more people become more conscious of psychological disorders and change their perspectives on those affected by them, public health can be enhanced and the world will be a much better place to live in.
2. What makes you a potential winner of this contest?
I would love to say that I am an interesting individual with all kinds of accomplishments, but truth be told, I am just the girl next door who loves food and movies more than homework. I’m also insecure and lost when it comes to certain fields, which causes me to overthink things. My close friend occasionally joked about me having OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) due to my overworrying tendencies and out of curiosity, I googled for information on this disorder. As it turned out, OCD comprised of a multitude of categories such as compulsive checking, hoarding, intrusive thoughts (repetitive, disturbing thoughts) and myriad sub-types, not just the need to wash and clean constantly.
Upon learning the details of this illness and mental illnesses in general, I was overwhelmed by the detrimental effects of these disorders and the number of people affected by it. I could somehow empathize with the fear of losing control over your life and some days, I wonder how many people out there lack information on mental disorders and think they are insane. Hence, through winning this contest, I wish to bring mental health literacy to a wider audience and encourage people to find help, even if it’s just opening up to a close confidant. We all need to know that psychological disorders are not the results of poor upbringing or personal weakness. They can happen to anybody, and it is imperative that you do not wait until it is “bad enough” and seek treatment as soon as possible.