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Nagaland

Awareness campaign on mental health issues launched

Nagaland News

Dimapur, October 1: With the objective of creating awareness among people about mental health issues, a 10-day awareness campaign prior to the celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10 was launched today here at DC Dimapur Conference Hall.
The campaign is being jointly organized by CMHP Prodigal’s Home and Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disability and supported by District Administration, District Health Program, District Legal Service Authority and Gracious Life Foundation.
Speaking during the launching, Director Prodigal’s Home K. Ela said that there is much ignorance in the society when it comes to mental health and cited that while families with members having mental health issues are shy to talk about it, the patients on the other hand are discriminated.
She hoped that the campaign, which will reach out to different organizations and groups of people during the span of 10 days, will be able to create massive awareness about mental health and make sure that the needed service for the patients are made available.
Dr. Temsuyanger, SMO (Psychiatrist), DMHP, Dimapur, in his remark stated that Nagaland, when it comes to mental health, still lags behind so much that the theme of the theme of the very first observation of the day in 1992 is still relevant today and lamented that people here just observe days like this and then quickly forgets about them. He, however, expressed hope that the theme of this year, which is “Make Mental Health & Well-being for All a Global Priority”, will not meet the fate of others and will be worked on throughout the upcoming year.
He suggested three measures to address the issue of mental health in the Naga society on the occasion that should be fulfilled before the celebration of the day in 2023. First, he said, there must be shelter homes for the homeless as many of these people are homeless because of their unsound mental health. He said that such shelters can be government run or sponsored by government and run by NGOs.
Second, he said there needs to be a massive awareness campaign in the nooks and corners of the state and this should be a collective effort as if people wait only for the government, nothing is going to happen. Third, there should be streamlining of jail inmates.
ADC Dimapur Mhalo Humtsoe in her speech stated that while people remember and wait for the national holidays by heart, most don’t remember days like World Mental Health day. She said that just the lack of mental illness does not make one mentally healthy, but one should be able to cope with stress and good health should translate to physical, social, and mental well-being.
Referring to surveys done on the issue of mental health in the country, she said that it is believed that 10% of India’s population suffer from some sort of mental illness, of which the case is severe for 0.8%, and 80% of the severe cases don’t get the appropriate care. She blamed the lack of resources as a major hindrance of the problem as well as stigma.
According to her, India stand far behind in terms of number of recommended psychiatrists with only about 2 psychiatrists per 3 lakh population, and the case is even worse in the context of Nagaland which has only one government appointed psychiatrist in the entire state.
Commenting on the importance of “EQ” while seeking employment, she said that even if one has high intelligence but lags behind in EQ, he/she cannot reach their optimum productivity and it is high time that people make themselves and their mental health a priority.
The 10 days campaign will be carried out by including the churches, child line, police etc. on different days throughout the span of the campaign, Ela informed.
(Page News Service)

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