Hi everyone, last week I had shared with you a short synopsis of my book and the tentative index of the same. The manuscript is coming along really well and its first draft is now complete. It will take hardly another week to complete the manuscript which is why I have started reaching out to various traditional publishers and literary agencies about the publishing process.
I am also excited to share with you a chapter wise outline of the book to give you a better idea of what the book will enclose. It is a project I am really excited for and I will need the support of everyone here to make it a true success.
SECTION 1: THE HISTORY OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE
This section lays the foundation of the book as it talks about the historical perspectives of mental illnesses and how they were treated centuries ago. From the ancient Greek thinkers to the modern mental health movement, this chapter discusses how the idea and understanding of mental health has developed over millennia.
The history brings along with it examples of humans at their bestial worst and at their compassionate best. The section has 5 chapters. The first one is an introduction where we are introduced to Yashasvi, a 19-year-old who has been suffering from severe clinical depression and how the ideas of mental illnesses were viewed in the pre-historic ages. The second chapter jumps to 13th century England where we see the story of the infamous Bethlem Hospital and how it has become synonymous with chaos and confusion.
The third chapter follows the story of the first psychiatric hospital built in the western world and how a compassionate pastor was the antecedent of western psychiatry. The fourth chapter is a story of the father of modern psychiatry, Phillipe Pinel, how he went from being a student of theology to setting off a revolution in the field of mental healthcare. His work is considered Newtonian in magnitude to this day. The final chapter talks about how the mental health movement took the shape we see it today in. It follows the story of Clifford Beers who almost single-handedly started a new movement for the better treatment of mental illnesses.
SECTION 2: UNDERSTANDING MENTAL HEALTH
In the second section we make inroads to understanding what mental health means and how it is defined scientifically. We talk about how mental disorders don’t necessarily follow the same model as physical ones and discuss the differences between physical and mental illnesses in detail. The section has tentatively 6 chapters which build the basic blocks of understanding what mental health is all about. We also look into resilience and emotional intelligence, two concepts that are central to the future of mental health.
SECTION 3: WHY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS NECESSARY AND ITS CAUTIONS
The third section is what sets this book apart from almost every other non-fiction book written which tries to propose an idea. In this chapter, we investigate important questions like why is mental healthcare and its awareness important? How does it help anyone? And how do we go about doing so? Apart from this we also discuss the arguments that are made against the idea of mental illnesses and how people who think stigma of mental illnesses is no longer existent are wrong. We also put forth some cautions of being over enthusiastic about the awareness campaigns and why we need a delicate balance between scepticism and compassion.
SECTION 4: THE MECHANICS OF STIGMA, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE
We start discussing the present scenario of mental health care around the world and how the stigma associated with them is multi-pronged and still active. If we wish to break the stigma around something, it is important that we understand how it works and where it can be handled most efficiently. We also talk about the future of mental health care around the world and what steps can be taken to decrease the global burden of this invisible epidemic. In an Indian context, we chart out a strategic plan that uses co-operation between grassroots level NGOs and the central government to ensure proper mental healthcare to one and all.
SECTION 5: MENTAL HEALTH: AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE
As the book moves towards its conclusion, we look at an Indian perspective of mental health and what changes need to be made to the global strategy to best suit the Indian society. We look at the different kinds of challenges India and its diversity presents and how we can tackle them together as a society. We discuss the initiatives that are already functioning to educate the society and what we can do more to improve the situation.
We pick up the story of Yashasvi again and follow his journey from being suicidal to being an established blogger working to raise mental health awareness. His case is one that brings questions to many since it goes against most of the misconceptions that people hold about mental illnesses especially depression. The book which had started with a grim and dark representation of Yashasvi’s reality ends with a light of hope and optimism into the future.
If you know some publishers or literary agents in India who can help me publish my work, let me know! I would be forever grateful to you.