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Archives for : Mental health

Mumbai SOS : Help Siddhant, with autism, find his way home ‎ #Search4Siddhant‬

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SOS – Help Siddhant find his way home!

Siddhanth Sudhakar, a young adult with autism, is missing since 7 pm on 28 Oct ’14 from  Kandivali, Mumbai

He has passed his 12th but has poor social skills. He speaks and understands English, Tamil and a bit of Hindi but has communication difficulties due to his disability. Siddhant is 19 years, 5 feet 4 inches and dark complexioned.

In the attached photo, he is flanked by his parents. He was wearing the same Tshirt and another red one underneath, the sleeves of which peeped out from under, with black track pants, when he went missing.

A Missing complaint filed at Samata Nagar police stn no 177/14.

Please contact his mother Jaya <[email protected]>; 9022688310 or 28676724 or father Sudhakar 9819340656

For latest information / status go to www.bit.ly/Siddhant
Please print and circulate this widely.

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AND HAVE ALOOK WHAT AUTHORITIES ARE DOING ?

 

Ministry of Women & Child Development website National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children has STILL not put up info on missing Mumbai teen with autism – Siddhant Sudhakar. All details submitted more than 2 days back!

Meanwhile Mumbai Police’s Missing People section is frozen in time since 16-10-2014.

 

Mumbai Indians / mumbaikars – one of your own – a pioneer with autism is missing for 3 days now.

Help find him ASAP – get the word out on radio, Marathi & Hindi media, distribute flyers, contact NGO shelters – do what it takes for Siddhant’s sake!

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Court orders 500 beds at the only mental hospital Bihar #healthcare

18-Jun-2014
 
PATNA: A division bench of Patna high court, comprising Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha, on Tuesday, while hearing a suo motu cognizance case, expressed its displeasure over the state government’s apathy towards the only mental hospital in the state, Bihar State Institute of Mental Health and Allied Sciences at Koelwar in Bhojpur district, and ordered the state government to ensure indoor facility of at least 500 beds at the hospital.
The bench had earlier directed the amicus curie in the case, advocate Anshuman, to visit the hospital at Koelwar on May 19, 2014 and review the revamping work of the hospital. On Tuesday, the amicus curie informed the bench that the state government had filed an affidavit in 2002 in the Supreme Court stating the hospital will have an indoor facility of 200 beds soon. However, till date it has not materialized.
“Why shall I not allow the amicus curie to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding non-compliance of its orders,” observed Justice V N Sinha. The bench ordered the state government to ensure indoor facility of at least 500 beds at the hospital and inform it about the progress of the revamping mission of the hospital. It also said in case of failure to file an appropriate affidavit, principal secretary, state health department, will have to be present before the court. The case will again be heard on Wednesday.
Aanganwadi centres: The same bench while hearing a PIL filed by one Sogara Nahid regarding alleged financial improprieties and misappropriation of funds in construction of aanganwadi centres and schools under Thakurganj Block in Kishanganj district rapped Vigilance SP Parwez Akhtar for his ‘inappropriate ways’.
The court had earlier ordered the vigilance department to take over the case lodged with Thakurganj police station and submit an inquiry report. However, on Monday, the SP instead of filing an affidavit with report sent the report through a letter without serving a copy to the petitioner’s counsel. Expressing its displeasure, the bench had summoned the SP on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, when the SP was present in person, the bench rapped him for sending a letter without affidavit, saying “Are you SP of Vigilance or of the high court?” The bench further said, “You have caught all small fries and let off big ones. Why has the government not granted sanction for prosecution of other officers?”
When the SP said that the department had asked for sanction two months back but has not been granted yet, the bench observed that sanction was only a formality and directed the vigilance department to take action against the culprits. The case will again be heard after four weeks.
Read more here – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/36737231.cms

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World Mental Health Day- You know the facts or believe the Myths ? #mustread

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Every year on 10th of October, The World Health Organization joins in celebrating the World Mental Health Day. The day is celebrated at the initiative of the World Federation of Mental Health and WHO supports this initiative through raising awareness on mental health issues using its strong relationships with the Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe. WHO also develops technical and communication material and provides technical assistance to the countries for advocacy campaigns around the World Mental Health Day.

The theme of World Mental Health Day in 2013 is “Mental health and older adults”.

Mental Healthcare in India

There are only 5000 mental health professionals in India.

One in five people in India live with a mental illness.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), countries like India devote less than 1% of their health budgets to mental health compared to 10%, 12%, 18% in other countries.

While there are as many as two crore (20 million) Indians suffering from mental illnesses, the country has only 3,500 psychiatrists and 1,500 psychiatric nurses to treat them.

Medical Statistics states that one in four people globally experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In India prevalence of mental disorders is six to seven percent for common mental disorders and about two percent for severe mental disorders.

The Government of India has also introduced The Mental Health Care Bill 2013 in Parliament on 19 August 2013. The bill seeks to safeguard the right to access mental healthcare, right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and right to equality.

Some commonly myths that relate to mental illness are below, along with the facts:

Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.

Fact: Most people with mental illness are not violent; only 3%-5% of violent acts are committed by individuals living with a serious mental illness; people with severe mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence than the general population.

Myth: People who go to a psychologist/psychiatrist  are  mad

Fact: People come to see a psychiatrist for many reasons. Some people have severe mental illnesses whereas some people are simply having trouble coping with the many stresses of modern life. Most people who see a psychologist/psychiatrist are simply trying to find ways to cope better with difficult feelings or behaviours and see psychiatric treatment as an opportunity to improve their lives.

Myth: People with mental health needs are weak and they cannot tolerate any kind of stress and are unable to hold a job.

Fact: People with mental health problems are just as productive as others.Mental health problems have nothing to do with being weak and many people need help to get better. There are many factors that contribute tomental health problems including biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, and injury. Life experiences, such as trauma, or a history of abuse, a family history of mental health problems, can all serve as contributory factors. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely. Many people with mental health problems are highly active members of our communities, therefore you may know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it.

Myth: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Why bother when you can just take a pill?

Fact: Treatment for mental health problems varies depending on the individual; and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals work with multiple support systems during the healing and recovery process.

Myth: Children cannot be depressed.

Fact: Young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns. These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable.

Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

Myth: I can’t do anything for person with a mental health problem.

Fact: Friends and family can be important support systems, to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help

  • Being available to listen to them and their stories
  • Helping them access mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn’t true
  • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
  • Refusing to define them by labels such as “crazy” or “mad”

Myth: It is impossible to prevent mental illnesses.

Fact: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as exposure to trauma that can affect the chances that children, youth, and young adults will develop mentalhealth problems. Identifying the vulnerable and encouraging help-seeking goes a long way in preventing mental illness.

Myth: One needs to take medicines for life and mental illnesses are not cure able

Fact: Sometimes medicine might not be necessary and only therapy can help. Medication may be necessary for controlling the initial stages of mentalillness. It is not necessary that medication used is habit forming. Mentalillnesses are manageable, just as one manages diabetes. There are people like Abraham Lincoln and John Nash who have been successful in their respectable fields, despite their illness.

Myth: Marriage will resolve everything: “Shaadi kara do; sab theek ho jayega”

Fact: Marriage does not resolve or cure mental illnesses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), countries like  India devote less than 1% of their health budgets to mental health compared to 10%, 12%, 18% in other countries.

HOTLINES –HELPLINES

 

Befrienders India – National Association 
c/o Sneha, 11 Park View Road
R.A.Puram
600 028
Chennai
Website: befriendersindia.org

Centres

Lifeline Foundation 
17/1A Alipore Road
Sarat Bose Road
700 027
KOLKATA
Hotline: +91 33 2474 4704
Hotline: +91 33 2474 5886
Hotline: 2474 5255
Website: education.vsnl.com/n4h/

AASRA 
A-4, Tanwar View, CHS,
Plot NO – 43, Sector 7
Koparkhairane
400 701
NAVI MUMBAI
Contact by:
Hotline: +91 22 2754 6669
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 09:00 – 21:00

MAITREYI 
255 Thyagumudali Street
605001
PONDICHERRY

Hotline: +91-413-339999
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 14:00 – 20:00

ROSHNI 
1-8-303/48/21 Kalavathy Nivas,
Sindhi Colony
S.P. Road
500003 A.P.
SECUNDERABAD

Hotline: +91 40 7904646
E-mail Helpline: [email protected]
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 11:00 – 21:00

Saath 
B12 Nilamber Complex
H.L. Commerce College Road
Navrangpura
380 006
AHMEDABAD
Hotline: +91 79 2630 5544
Hotline: +91 79 2630 0222

SNEHA 
11 Park View Road
(Near Chennai Kaliappa Hospital)
R.A. Puram
600 028
Chennai

Hotline: +91 (0) 44 2464 0050
Website: snehaindia.org
E-mail Helpline: [email protected]
24 Hour service: 

The Samaritans Sahara 
Sir J-J. Road
Byculla Bridge
400 008
MUMBAI

Hotline: +91-22-2307 3451
Website: mumbainet.com/health/samarita.htm
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 15:00 – 21:00
 Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 21:00

Sumaitri 
1 Bhagwandas Lane
Aradhana Hostel Complex
Basement
110 001
NEW DELHI
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter: 
Hotline: 2338 9090
Website: sumaitri.org
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 14:00 – 22:00
 Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 22:00

MAITHRI – Cochin 
Ashirbhavan Road
Kacheripady
Ernakulam Kochi
682 018
Kochi
KERALA

Hotline: +91 239 6272
Website: maithrikochi.org
E-mail Helpline: [email protected]
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 20:00

 

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#India- Supreme Court rules -Man can’t dump wife on grounds of schizophrenia #Vaw #goodnews

19-Sept-2013

 

J. Venkatesan

 

“It is a treatable, manageable disease, on par with hypertension and diabetes”

 

NEW DELHI : Temporary ill-health including schizophrenia, a mental illness, which is curable, cannot be a ground for divorce under Section 13 (1) (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has held.

 

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and V. Gopala Gowda, quoting Vedic scriptures, said, “Under Hindu law, marriage is an institution, a meeting of two hearts and minds and is something that cannot be taken lightly.”

 

Writing the judgment, Justice Gowda: said “Marriage is highly revered in India and we are a nation that prides itself on the strong foundation of our marriages, come hell or high water, rain or sunshine…” The partners “must weather storms and embrace sunshine with equanimity. Any person may have bad health, this is not their fault and most times, it is not within their control, as in the present case [in which], the respondent [Kollam Padma Latha] was unwell and was taking treatment. The illness had its fair share of problems. [But] can this be a reason for the appellant [Kollam Chandra Sekhar] to abandon her and seek dissolution of marriage after a child is born out of their union?” Their marriage was solemnised on May 31, 1995 in Kakinada as per Hindu rites and customs.

 

Dr. Chandra Sekhar’s appeal is directed against the September 28, 2006 common judgment and order passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, setting aside the judgment and decree of divorce granted in his favour by the trial court. The High Court held that there was no positive evidence to show that the respondent had suffered from schizophrenia and even if she had suffered from some form of schizophrenia, it could not be said she was suffering from such a serious ailment. “Schizophrenia is a treatable, manageable disease, which can be put on a par with hypertension and diabetes,” it said after examining evidence.

 

Accepting this verdict, the Bench said: “The High Court has thus rightly set aside the decree of dissolution of marriage and granted a decree of restitution of conjugal rights in favour of the respondent by allowing her petition.”

 

Pointing out that the respondent had not only completed MBBS but also had done a postgraduate diploma in Medicine and that she was continuously working as a Government Medical Officer, the Bench said: “Had she been suffering from any serious kind of mental disorder, particularly, acute type of schizophrenia, it would have been impossible for her to work in the post. The appellant-husband cannot simply abandon his wife because she is suffering from sickness.” If he felt that she “is still suffering, then she must be given the right treatment. The respondent must stick to her treatment plan and make the best attempts to get better.” Grant of a decree or dissolution of marriage “is not in the best interests of either the respondent or her daughter, who is said to be of adolescent age.”

 

Download full judgement below

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#India- Law aims to ensure humane touch for mental patients #mustshare

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The Mental Healthcare Bill, 2013 tabled in Rajya Sabha

Mahendra Singh TNN

New Delhi: A legislation to protect rights of persons with mental illness and ensure people with such disabilities are treated humanely by banning practices like tonsuring or chaining of patients was introduced in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The bill allows adults to make an “advance directive” or decide on a course of action regarding how they wish to be treated in case they develop a mental ailment.
The advance directive is to be furnished by a person and registered with a Mental Board to be set up by the government at both central and state levels. The bill also provides for an individual to appoint a nominated representative to decide on the nature of treatment in the event of a mental illness afflicting the person.
The person writing the advance directive and his nominated representative shall have a duty to ensure that the medical officer in charge of a facility has access to the provision.
Importantly, the bill ensures that all insurance companies will have to make provisions for treatment of mental illness.
The proposed law is seen as a path-breaking exercise in trying to codify legal protection for those who suffer from mental illness.
The Mental Healthcare Bill, 2013, seeks to safeguard the right to access mental healthcare, right to community living, right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and right to equality and non-discrimination.
The bill seeks to regulate both public and private mental health sectors along with establishing a mental health system integrated into all levels of general healthcare.
Under the provisions of the bill, government has the obligation to provide half way homes, community caring centres and other shelters for mentally ill people.

LEGAL COVER
Bill on mental illness bans practices like tonsuring or chaining of patients

It allows adults to decide on a course of action on how they wish to be treated in case they develop mental ailment

It ensures insurance firms will have to make provisions for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness

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The Troubled Beautiful Minds of India #Sundayreading

Author(s): Vibha Varshney Kundan Pandey 

Aug 15, 2013 |  Down to Erath

They are there—each residential area has its mentally disturbed people; each family has anecdotes of crazy relatives. Nobody wants to acknowledge them. As pressures of life grow, so do troubles of the mind. Governments worldwide are looking for ways to tackle mental illness that poses a major threat to global economy. India has a national programme in place to tackle the problem for more than three decades but it has failed to deliver. Now, to improve the situation the government has drafted a new mental health care bill, which will be tabled in the monsoon sesssion of parliament. It is also charting a mental health policy. Vibha Varshneyand Kundan Pandey analyse whether the efforts will help improve the lot of india’s mentaly ill

For the past three years, every month Jagat Ram travels from Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh to Delhi’s Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) to fetch medicines for his younger sister. She suffers from depression, the most common mental illness in the country. “It all began at her in-laws’ place. She used to complain of torture,” recalls the 35-year-old. In 2007, after losing her newborn she slipped into shock. It was a crushing blow to her already shaky marriage. She became quiet, stopped doing household chores, did not care for her appearance and even stopped bathing.

Eccentric side of India

Schizophrenia
Person suffers from delusion, hallucination
3,737,481

Mood disorders
Include depression and bipolar disorder, marked by alternating episodes of mania and depression
19,933,232

Cannabis users 
Those addicted to intoxicating hallucinogenic drugs
9,966,616

Mental retardation
A condition due to incomplete growth of brain, characterised by impaired cognitive, language, motor and social abilities
1,245,827

Child, adolescent disorders
30,896,510

Geriatric disorders
Mental illness that onsets with aging
3,089,651

Dementia 
Deterioration of an invidividual’s intellectual, emotional and judgemental abilities; can occur with aging or injury to brain
1,893,657

Common mental disorders 
Describe a state of deeper psychological distress; includes anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, phobia and somatoform pain or acute false pain
24,916,540

Epilepsy 
Neurological disorder with convulsive seizure
11,212,443

Alcohol dependency*
A pattern of compulsive alcohol use
12,458,270

Opiate users 
2,491,654

Instead of getting her treated, her in-laws would accuse her of acting out to garner attention. Her condition continued to deteriorate. That’s when Jagat Ram forcibly brought her back home.

For almost a year, he spent money on costly private treatment in his native place. But she showed no sign of improvement. It was by chance that the family brought her to IHBAS. She is now on the road to recovery.

“We now have to keep her away from negative thoughts,” Jagat says. “Though I still spend money on travel and take frequent leaves from office, it’s worth it.”

But Jagat Ram’s sister is one of the few people who have found their way to a premier institute like IHBAS or expensive private care.

The rest—in the absence of government data, IHBS director Nimesh Desai says one in 10 people in the country could be suffering from diagnosable mental problems—depend on a nearly defunct National Mental Health Programme or find relief in faith healing.

About 900 km away, in a tribal village in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, 19-year-old Sanju, too, displays symptoms of depression. His father, Ratan Singh believes he is under the spell of evil spirits. Sanju was fine till two years ago.

Then his behaviour suddenly changed. He stopped responding to calls and did not even care for himself. He would cry for no reason. In the past two years, Ratan Singh and his wife have travelled several times to the Baba Dongar temple atop a hill, hoping that god would cure Sanju.

They also promised to sacrifice cocks at the temple if Sanju showed improvement. Though the boy is yet to show any sign of improvement, the couple dared not break their promise. Baba Dongar is their only hope.

When asked why he does not take Sanju to a doctor, a bewildered Ratan Singh says Sanju does not have any health problem. And he is not the only one to believe so.

Kalu Singh Bamanai, a photographer of Samni village who earns his livelihood by taking photos of the pilgrims at the temple, says every day five to 10 families, even educated ones, visit the shrine, hoping their mentally ill relatives would be cured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imageWhen the Centre launched National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982, one of its objectives was to allay such ignorance and integrate mental healthcare in general healthcare by introducing mental health centres in each district. These centres are headed by psychiatrists who travel to interior parts of the district and provide treatment to patients. The programme floundered.

“Very few patients visit the doctor,” says R K Bairagi, head of NMHP’s district mental health programme (DMHP) for Sehore district in Madhya Pradesh. “While some fear social stigma, the rest are superstitious. We are planning to take the help of tantriks to bring mentally ill patients to the centre. Tantriks deal with many such patients and could be helpful to bring them here. They would perform their rituals and after that ask patients to visit the centre,” he adds.

Even if it works it will be only half the solution. If people actually approach the Sehore DMHP centre it will not be able to handle the load. The Sehore DMHP centre is the only hospital, other than the Mental Hospital Indore and Gwalior Mental Hospital, to cater to the mentally ill people of Madhya Pradesh. Between 1996 and 2007, the Central government had sanctioned four other DMHP centres in Shivpuri, Dewas, Mandala and Satna districts, but all of them have become dysfunctional.

Even the Sehore centre is under-staffed. “We advertised for the posts of psychiatrists and psychologists for this centre at least four times but no one responded.

There is shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists in the state because there are no PG courses on these subjects in any of the six medical colleges of the state,” says Bairagi, who shuttles between Sehore and his hometown Bhopal, about 50 km away. He comes to the centre only twice a week.

Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh State Mental Health Authority, R N Sahu, says DMHP failed in the state because it is not a priority for the authority. The money sanctioned for Satna and Jabalpur centres was returned to the Centre because the district authorities were not interested in the programme.

“I had sent proposals to revive the defunct centres and begin DMHP in five new districts more than a year ago. But the proposals were never forwarded to the Centre,” he says. The situation is no better in other states. The programme has made little headway in the past three decades.

“Although DMHP is supposed to be active in 123 districts (of 652 districts), it is barely functional in most districts,” states the mental health policy group, established in May 2011 to create a mental health policy for the country and provide recommendations to improve DMHP in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The group submitted its report in June 2012. “…barring islands of good performance, the DMHP is yet to achieve its objectives,” says the group.

Inconsistent fund flow, lack of trained staff, lack of coordination between departments and non-availability of psychotropic drugs and psychological treatment are plaguing the programme.

The group’s report indicates that states are reluctant to take over funding of DMHP. As per the guidelines, the Centre will fund DMHPs for five years, after which the respective state governments shall take over the programme.

Rahul Shidhaye, clinical psychiatrist working with advocacy group Public Health Foundation of India, points out another flaw in the programme design. “NMHP is the only public health programme in the country where finances are routed through the Directorate of Medical Education,” he says.

“The deans of medical colleges are busy training psychiatrists and are not concerned about public healthcare whose foundation rests on awareness and reduction of stigma.”

In the 12th Five Year Plan, the government plans to redesign the programme and expand it to all the districts in the country. But will it be effective given that India has never undertaken an official mental health survey?

Several analysts are sceptical. A similar effort in 2002 to revamp NMHP and expand it to 22 districts had significantly changed the scope of the programme.

“The new policy reduced emphasis on access to services and community participation (which were the prime aim of the 1982 policy) and moved towards provision and distribution of psychotropic medication,” say Sumeet Jain and Sushrut Jadhav from University College London, the UK, in a paper published in March 2009 issue of Transcultural Psychiatry.

The authors suggest that the authorities revamped the programme without analysing the problems that were ailing NMHP. “…there is no indication of who was involved in this (consultation) process and what resulted from it,” it notes.

The study holds lessons for Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which plans to revamp its mental healthcare system. It has drafted a Mental Health Care Bill to replace the Mental Health Act of 1987.

The Cabinet cleared the Bill on June 13. In all probability, the Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the Monsoon Session, beginning on August 5, and will be cleared. To facilitate its implementation the ministry, for the first time, is charting a mental health policy.

Biological reality of mental illness

There is no single cause that triggers mental illnesses. There are several factors, right from genetic inheritance and exposure to brain-damaging chemicals to conditions that beset people, such as work pressure, death of loved ones or even romantic rejection, which can trigger dysfunction of the brain and lead to mental disorders.

Generally, it is considered that the dysfunction occurs due to problems with neurotransmitters, or chemicals that help neurons in the brain communicate. For example, the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin is lower in individuals who suffer from depression. Similarly, disruption in neurotransmitters, dopamine, glutamate and norepinephrine, is linked to schizophrenia.

Such understanding helps in the development of drugs to treat the problem. Biological psychiatry is now an established branch of psychiatry and uses imaging techniques like psychopharmacology and neuroimmunochemistry to pinpoint the problem. Using these techniques, researchers, in the past five years, have identified genes that influence susceptibility to five common psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder. Their finding was published in medical journal The Lancet. Using the technology, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in the US are developing a classification system that would help differentiate the structure and function of a mentally ill brain from that of a healthy one. This will help researchers understand why a traumatic event leads to post-traumatic stress disorder, neurology of hallucinations and how drug addiction rewires the brain.

There is still a long way to go. Scientists are nowhere close to understanding the brain the way they understand heart, kidneys and other parts of the body.

A journey in the dark

imagePhoto: Soumik Mukherjee

Poverty, gender discrimination, alcohol use, stress of modern life, conflicts and natural disasters—most of the identified risk factors for mental illness are common in India. But in the absence of an official mental health survey, there is little data on the number of people who suffer from the illness.

The most reliable and often quoted figure that provides some sense of prevalence of the illness is a report by the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (NCMH) published in 2005. According to the report, at least 6.5 per cent of the Indian population—more than 80 million people—suffer from serious mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, with no discernible rural-urban difference. The share of mental illnesses is 8.5 per cent of the total burden of diseases in the country. These figures will grow substantially, with increasing population, the report suggests.

imageVery little direct evidence is available at community levels. But the few that are available provide a worrying picture. An analysis of data from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study, published in PLoS One on September 28, 2009, shows 15.1 per cent of people in urban and rural areas of Chennai suffer from depression. The study found that the problem is more pronounced among women and people from low-income groups. More than 16.3 per cent women suffer from depression compared to 13.9 per cent men. About 19 per cent people in low-income groups are depressed.

Analysts say the figures are merely an indication of a deep abyss because the studies often take into account only those who have at some point of time visited a doctor or have acknowledged their problem. Given the stigma attached to mental illness, very few people are open to diagnosis and treatment. A joint publication by the National Human Rights Commission and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in 2008 notes that “morbidity due to mental illness is set to overtake cardiovascular diseases as the single largest risk in India by 2010”.

Adverse effects of these illnesses are rising in the country. According to WHO, depression and other mental illnesses are the major causes behind suicide. Data from the National Crime Record Bureau shows there has been a rise in the cases of suicide in the country. More than 135,000 people committed suicide in 2012 alone—a 22.7 per cent increase from 2002 (see ‘Depressing growth’).

imageIn recent years, the list of risk factors for mental illnesses has become longer. Increasing intensity and frequency of natural disasters have been identified as major contributors to mental illnesses, especially in children and adolescents. A study published in peer-reviewed journal BMC Psychiatry in 2007 shows even a year after the super cyclone ravaged coastal Odisha in 1999, almost one-third of the children could be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a severe mental condition.

It is relevant to note that mental disorders are a risk factor for many noncommunicable diseases.

According to a 2012 report by WHO, more than 3 per cent of the world’s population suffers from depression, which predisposes people to heart diseases and diabetes. Those with depression and schizophrenia have 40 per cent to 60 per cent greater chance of dying prematurely either by committing suicide or from unaddressed health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and HIV infection. Noncommunicable diseases also increase the likelihood of depression, notes the report. This holds a threat for India where noncommunicable diseases are fast taking over communicable diseases.

The 2011 World Economic Forum Report warns that mental illness poses a major threat to the global economy. In view of the potential harm that mental illnesses can cause, governments worldwide are gearing up to set up a system to tackle the problem. India is under tremendous pressure, both from international forums and from civil society at home, to contain the illnesses. The government believes this can be done only by introducing the Mental Health Care Act and the Mental Health Policy.

But are these interventions robust enough to ensure that the mentally ill receive treatment as well as care?

Have a care

imagePhoto: Soumik Mukherjee

Thirty-year-old Tamanna lives a life of rejection. Last year, her husband and his family brought her to Indore Mental Hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and admitted her to hospital. Within a couple of months, they declared her healthy and asked her family to take her back home. But no one wanted to take her back. Tamanna kept writing to her family for six months, but there was no response. Even her mother did not respond. Finally, the hospital administration had no choice but to shift Tamanna to a nearby shelter home with due permission of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

imageSource: Lok Sabha reply, February 22, 2013Tamanna is not the only one who has been ostracised because of mental illness. A warden at the hospital, who did not wish to be named, says she has witnessed at least 12 such cases in the past two years where family members refused to take back their wards even after doctors certified complete recovery. More often than not women face institutionalisation and desertion. Indore Mental Hospital alone has more than 40 women inmates compared to 20-odd men.

More than 50 per cent of patients admitted to a mental hospital often end up staying there for five years or more. The most unfortunate aspect of this problem is that these patients have been in the hospital for years not because of treatment-related reasons but because their families have abandoned them. Prolonged hospitalisation has further impaired their socio-vocational skill, points out the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in its report submitted to the Supreme Court in February this year. NHRC has been reviewing mental health institutions in the country since 1997. That year the apex court had asked it to monitor mental health hospitals at Agra, Ranchi and Gwalior following complaints of human rights violation.

When to see a doctor

  • Marked personality change
  • Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
  • Strange or grandiose ideas
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Prolonged depression and apathy
  • Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Extreme highs and lows
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior

Source: American Psychiatric Association

At the root of this apathy towards the mentally ill is the Mental Health Act of 1987, which takes away all rights of mentally ill people and treats them as someone who is dangerous and, therefore, requires institutional confinement. They are not allowed to take decisions about their lives, their healthcare and property. Even until a decade ago—the Mental Health Act came into force only in 1993—India was following the archaic Indian Lunacy Act, 1902. Framed during the colonial period, the Act considered the mentally ill as dangerous to society and aimed at protecting the public from them. Analysts say the Lunacy Act is largely responsible for shaping the apathetic attitude of society towards the mentally ill.

The Union health ministry claims that the Mental Health Care Bill and the Mental Health Policy will restore the rights of the mentally ill. But an analysis of the draft bill suggests there is a long way to go. As of now, it appears that the steps taken are only to comply with mounting international obligations.

In 2006, India ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims at ensuring equality and autonomy for the people who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments. With this, it became necessary for India to change its legal framework. WHO also suggested its member states to ensure social care services to the mentally ill in community settings. These were daunting tasks, requiring a huge upgrade in the existing mental healthcare system.

Being a member-state of the UN, India has to abide by the resolution. In 2010, the Union health ministry proposed the Mental Health Care Bill. A year later, it established a group for writing the country’s first mental health policy and redesigning the failing National Mental Health Programme (NMHP). This was just in time because in 2013 WHO passed a resolution at the 66th World Health Assembly. The resolution says member states, especially low- and middle-income countries, where needs are high and resources inadequate, will have to increase service coverage for severe mental disorders by 20 per cent and reduce suicide rates by 10 per cent by 2020. India was at the fore front, asking for these changes.

Building a system without policy, infrastructure

The Mental Health Care Bill provides a definition for mental illness for the first time. Mental illness is “a disorder of mood, thought, perception, orientation and memory which causes significant distress in a person or impairs a person’s behaviour, judgement and ability to recognise reality or impairs that person’s ability to meet the demands of daily life”, notes the draft bill. It thus recognises mental conditions associated with abuse of alcohol and drugs as mental conditions and gives more rights to the mentally ill.

To ensure that the rights are not violated, the Bill envisages a mental health review commission at the Centre and state-level mental health review boards. The review bodies will have quasi-judicial power and will be the first point of interaction for persons with mental illness or their representatives in case their rights are violated. To address the needs of the families, caregivers and mentally ill people who are homeless, the Bill provides for setting up of mental health authorities both at the state and Central levels. They would act as administrative bodies for the mental healthcare system.

Can rights sans care help?

The Mental Health Care Bill has failed to please both doctors and mental health activists. Analysts say the Bill provides rights to community care and independent living, but does not put the onus on the government.

Another provision that has drawn criticism from all quarters is that of advance directive. This provision proposes a legal document that tells what healthcare services a person wants in case he develops mental illness. Psychiatrists see this as an intrusion into their autonomy. Sameer Kalani, clinical psychiatrist and member of the Delhi Psychiatry Centre, says giving autonomy to the patient to decide the treatment could be a problem when the patient is seriously ill.

Another such contentious issue is a provision that reduces time for which a patient can be admitted in an institution to 30 days from 90 days. Activists say this makes sense as medicines start working within two weeks. But several psychiatrists say this provision makes the procedure of hospitalisation cumbersome. While admitting a patient, the psychiatrist and medical officer will have to inform the proposed mental health review boards within three weeks of admission.

They will have to inform again if they plan to extend the patient’s hospitalisation. Bengaluru-based non-profit Centre for Law and Policy Research suggests that the bill should have banned electric shocks (electro convulsive therapy or ECT) as a form of treatment. But Kalani differs. Overall side effects of medicine are higher than that of ECT, which is used only in emergency, like if the patient is suffering from extreme suicidal instinct, extreme excitement. In such cases, ECT starts showing impact in three to four days, while the medicines show impact after three to four weeks. Instead of banning, there should be a clear-cut guideline on how and when ECT should be used, he suggests.

Akhileshwar Sahay, a patient of bipolar disorder and a member of the mental health policy group, points out that civil society should welcome the initiative. The government is at least taking some steps. Innovations can happen later.

The Bill also decriminalises suicide attempts by the mentally ill, meaning attempt to commit suicide by a mentally ill will not be subject to any investigation or prosecution. Both doctors and activists point out that the proposed legislation, however, fails to address several crucial issues that plague the mental healthcare system in the country (see ‘Can rights sans care help?’).

Even the prescribed rights would fail to deliver unless the government prepares the mental health policy. While the Bill is on the verge of getting approved by Parliament, the policy, which is crucial in implementing the Act, is nowhere to be seen.

In May 2011, when the Mental Health Policy Group came into being the Union health ministry gave it a year’s time to prepare the policy. Since then the group has sought six-month-long extensions twice, but not even a draft is available in the public domain.

In its submission to the Supreme Court, NHRC points out that lack of data on the country has slowed down the process of policy making. On July 8, the apex court sought response from states and the Centre on the need of a country-wide survey to realise the extent of mental illness.

Sujaya Krishnan, joint secretary with the Union health ministry who was part of national deliberations on the Bill, says the government will be able to implement the Bill even in the absence of a policy. “We will use the existing infrastructure under NMHP.

The Union health ministry has started the process of increasing manpower and since 2011 it has added about 350 psychiatrists to the workforce. This might be a small beginning but at least we have started,” she says.

The Union health ministry’s own data, as revealed in a reply in Lok Sabha on February 22, 2013, however, shows an acute shortage of mental healthcare professionals in the country (see table on p37). Moreover, these handful of professionals are distributed unequally across the country.

A 2010 analysis by Chennai and UK researchers, published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, shows Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa and Puducherry had a surplus of psychiatrists. Ideally, there should be one psychiatrist per 100,000 population.

Chandigarh had 244 per cent surplus psychiatrists. The rest of the states and Union Territories did not have adequate number of psychiatrists. Nine states, which account for 41 per cent rural population, faced more than 90 per cent deficit.

Not a single psychiatrist was there to cater to the 60,000 population of Lakshadweep.

The NHRC report also points out that to tackle the problem both infrastructure and manpower are in short-supply in the country. Hospital buildings are dilapidated. At many places, there is no lighting arrangement. In the absence of proper facilities, patients are forced to defecate in the open.

But improving manpower and infrastructure alone will not help curb the rise of mental health problems.

Most mental illnesses can be controlled through care and emotional support that restores one’s self esteem (see ‘What’s it like to have panic attacks?’). So the new thinking is that more money should be used for outpatient treatment.

Treatment is not all about pills

World over, there is concern over the excess dependence on medicines. “Pharmaceuticals have already changed the character of National Mental Health Programme (NHPM),” write Sumeet Jain and Sushrut Jadhav from the University College London in their paper published in March 2009 in Transcultural Psychiatry. They studied the role of psychotropic medication in NHPM and found that instead of being a symbol of accessibility to healthcare, the pill ends up being a method of administering a discrete treatment. “Thus, instead of empowering the community, the pill silences community voices and re-enforces the existing barriers to care,” they write.

Pharma lobby influencing the mental health care system is not unique to India. In 2007, the psychiatrists and pharmaceutical company nexus in the US reportedly resulted in growing use of new antipsychotics in children. Between 2000 and 2005, the industry’s payments to Minnesota psychiatrists rose more than six-fold. During the period, prescriptions of antipsychotics for children under the state’s insurance programme rose more than nine-fold.

In the US, six time more antipsychotics are prescribed to children and adolescents than in the UK. More than 30 million Americans take antidepressants. Another example of this unholy nexus is the recently released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders prepared by American Psychiatric Association. The manual turns even common ailments into mental illnesses. For example, it terms common experiences like grief as clinical depression, and binge eating a new category of illness. It is alleged that the manual aims at pleasing the pharma industry.

In 2012, CNN IBN revealed that a group of 11 neurologists and their families from Madhya Pradesh went on a seven-day trip to London and Scotland. According to the travel agency documentations, the trip was funded by INTAS, a pharma company based in Ahmedabad that manufactures psychiatric drugs. The doctors, travel agency and the pharmaceutical industry have denied this.

WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2011 shows high-income countries have already moved ahead in this direction. Globally, 67 per cent of mental health spending is directed towards outpatient treatment. India allocates only a meagre part of its mental healthcare budget for outpatient treatment. Take Gujarat, for example.

In 2003, of the Rs 8,5620 lakh sanctioned for healthcare, the state allocated 0.95 per cent—Rs 820 lakh—for mental health. Of this, 92 per cent was spent on infrastructure and a meager Rs 21.5 lakh was allocated for DMHPs.

Worse, 67 per cent of this fund was spent on staff salaries and 20 per cent on medicines and supplies, points out a 2009 report by Basic Needs, an international charity.

“It is possible to treat over 99 per cent of the mentally ill people without hospitalising them. Outpatient treatment is preferable because the conditions in a mental hospital are often abominable,” Nimesh Desai, director IHBAS, said at the National Seminar on Perspective on Mental Illness in India held in Chennai in July 2010.

With high allocations to the programme under the 12th Five Year Plan, there is an opportunity for the country to invest more in community care.

Involve communities, create awareness

Down To Earth spoke to experts on how the mental health policy can be made robust.

Rahul Shidhaye, a clinical psychiatrist working with non-profit Public Health Foundation of India, says the key lacuna in the existing system is lack of organisation of services. The public sector is small and the private sector provides most of the services. Therefore, the policy should focus on strengthening the public healthcare system.

Simultaneously, it should regulate the role of private mental healthcare providers. Dependence on psychiatrists should be reduced as in the case of TB programme where not all diagnosis and treatment are done by specialists. Like HIV/AIDS programmes, mental healthcare system needs counsellors. The evaluation mechanism has also to be built in the policy, he adds.

G Gururaj, head of the epidemiology department at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), a premier institute for mental health sciences in Bengaluru, says focus should be on implementing the Bill and the policy. “Strength of India lies in its strong community structure where most of the mentally ill are taken care of by their families,” says Nimesh Desai of IHBAS.

This aspect needs to be strengthened, he suggests. Abdul Mabood, director of Delhi non-profit Snehi, suggests instead of devising a separate mental health policy, the government should make it part of the pending national health policies.

Agrees R Srinivasa Murthy, former director of NIMHANS. “We need to make mental healthcare accessible, affordable and acceptable to the patient. For this he suggests a three-pronged approach: involve community, integrate mental healthcare with general healthcare system so that mental illness is dealt along with other illnesses, and bring about a change in the attitude of specialist doctors who are not willing to accept that non-specialists could provide care.

“The existing system is controlled by the pharmaceutical lobby and the private sector lobby,” says Murthy (see ‘Treatment is not all about pills’). Instead the government should focus on spreading awareness about mental illness. “People should know what to do when they are sick. Unfortunately, India does not have a diagnostic manual of mental disorders. For creating awareness the government should use standard methods such as posters, radio and TV shows, street plays and social media.

Mental illness-related information can be made available in the form of questionnaires, narratives or life stories of survivors. Networks of survivors can help patients combat the illness. Murthy says awareness would go a long way in reducing social stigma and ensuring early diagnosis. Remember, early diagnosis is the key to fight mental illness.

What’s it like to have panic attacks

A survivor shares his story

I was moving up in the world. As an ambitious young business promoter in the healthcare industry, I had a bright career ahead of me. I was happily married for eight years and was blessed with two beautiful daughters. But at the age of 32, I suddenly started getting panic attacks. The first time I had the attack, I was jolted awake in the middle of the night, doused in sweat. There was an ice cold sensation in my chest. An unknown fear overpowered me. My wife, with the help of a neighbour, took me to a hospital in Gurgaon. The doctors overruled any cardiac or other related problems. But the sensation kept getting worse. My doctor friends asked me to see a psychiatrist.

I was lucky enough to be educated, have disposable income and time to get help. A young psychiatrist in Gurgaon started my treatment with anti-depressants and counselling. But my friends in the healthcare industry discouraged me from anti-depressants. They said a headstrong person like me could not be depressed. I had always felt the same. Perhaps I was wrong; they were wrong. Although what triggered my panic attack remained a mystery, I started feeling better. I thought I had recovered and stopped medication on my own. Over the next few months I changed job and moved to Ahmedabad. New challenges and more salary kept me busy. Then one night, I again felt the cold sensation in my chest and was sweating profusely. I rushed to a physician. Based on my history, he advised me to see a psychiatrist. I was back to square one.

My new psychiatrist was a renowned one. On an average, he was seeing 100 patients a day. He did not have time for me. His juniors took my details and prescribed medication, which I disliked. So I changed the doctor. I told him I want to reduce my dependence on medicines. He prescribed me fewer medicines and advised me to go to a psychotherapist.

A psychotherapist is not a doctor, but a trained professional who helps increase an individual’s sense of wellbeing through therapeutic interaction and counseling. My 50-year-old psychotherapist has a couch. I lie down and share all my fears, feelings, daily experiences and talk for an hour. I feel relaxed and stress-free after the session. There are days when I would look down from my apartment on the 9th floor and get thoughts of committing suicide and get paralysed. Will I jump from this window? Can I control my legs? Should I seek help of my wife? The next day I analyse my feelings with my psychotherapist. She listens to me and guides me about the thoughts. I am in a process of re-discovering myself. She is my main stay these days to fight depression and feel better.

Every week I attend three to four sessions with her. Practicing yoga, pranayama and walking gave me some relief but only psychotherapy has helped me.

(Names of the patients and their relatives have been changed) With inputs from Snigdha Das

 

 

 

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#India – Mental Health Care Bill cleared by Cabinet

Music and Mental Health

The Union Cabinet  cleared the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 that makes access to mental health care a right of all persons

Submitted on Fri, 06/14/2013 – 16:55

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 that makes access to mental health care a right of all persons. Such services should be affordable, of good quality and available without discrimination, it said. The proposed law decriminalises suicide.

The Bill, in consonance with international laws, has the provision of Advance Directives — described as a progressive and far-sighted step. No person who has recorded an Advance Directive to State that he or she should not be admitted to a facility without consent can be so admitted.

A rights-based Bill also has a provision wherein a person with mental illness can appoint a nominated representative to take decisions for him or her. Under the provisions of the Bill, government has an obligation to provide half way homes, community caring centres and other shelters for mentally ill people. This has been planned under the District Mental Health Programme in the 12th Plan.

In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health reported that 10-12 million or one to two per cent of the population suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and nearly 50 million or five per cent from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 per cent of the population. The prevalence of mental disorders was higher among women, those who were homeless, poor and living in urban areas, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told The Hindu.

The new Bill, once approved by Parliament, will repeal the Mental Health Act, 1987, which had vested extraordinary power in the hands of the treating psychiatrists. There was enough evidence of misuse and unscrupulous families collaborating with psychiatrists in addition to badly functional or non-functional Central and Mental Health Authorities primarily because of lack of funds.

Under the proposed new law, there is provision for voluntary admission with supported admission limited to specific circumstances; appeals can be made to the Mental Health Review Commission, which will also review all admission beyond 30 days and free care for all homeless, destitute and poor people suffering from mental disorder. The Bill provides right to confidentiality and protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in addition to right to live in a community and legal aid. It bans the electric-convulsive therapy without anesthesia and restricts psychosurgery, Mr. Azad said.

He said the Bill tries to address the needs of the families and caregivers, and the needs of the homeless mentally ill. It provides for setting up Central and State Mental Health Authorities, which would act as administrative bodies, while the Mental Health Review Commission would be a quasi-judicial body to oversee the functioning of mental health facilities and protect the rights of persons with mental illness in mental health facilities.

Credit and Source: The Hindu

 

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Corporates cashing in on mental-health diagnosis

man with head in hands
Are we heading towards a mass-medicated society? Sriram Balla, under a CC License

Are you a disruptive person? Are you occasionally reluctant to part with possessions? Is your child defiant, or prone to temper tantrums? Are you grieving from the death of a close friend? Well, don’t worry; you can get drugs for all of this soon.

On Friday 17 May, the American Psychiatric Association published the fifth edition of its highly influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – the first major update in 13 years. Although a US manual, DSM has global influence.

And that may not be good news. The new DSM has several new additions, including ‘Oppositional Defiant Disorder’ (when a child repeatedly says ‘No’ and acts defiantly), ‘Major Depressive Disorder’ (the experience of grieving) and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (temper tantrums).

The DSM is put together by panels of experts in psychiatry. But there is evidence that many of them serve as paid spokespeople for pharmaceutical companies, or conduct industry-funded research.

recent study showed that ‘some of the most conflicted panels are those for which drugs represent the first line of treatment, with two-thirds of the mood disorders panel, 83 per cent of the psychotic disorders panel and 100 per cent of the sleep disorders panel disclosing “ties to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the medications used to treat these disorders or to companies that service the pharmaceutical industry.”’

Angry at the scandal, over 10,000 mental health professionals have signed a letter against DSM-5. Allan Frances, the author of DSM-4 and a psychiatrist with 45 years’ experience, is deeply opposed to the changes.

Stooping this low would not be new for ‘Big Pharma.’ Between 1994 and 2005, large pharmaceutical companies spent over $1.3 billion on lobbying politicians in the US alone. Only last week it was revealed that Western pharmaceutical companies used Communist East Germany for illegal drug trials in state-run hospitals in which several test subjects died. These companies do not have our best interests at heart.

In a world where most people assume that the development of new drugs can only ever be positive, they have the power to mass-medicate our entire society. If they can use their influence to convince you that a state of mind is a mental illness, they can sell you something to make it better.

Taking a pill is no substitute for proper mental-health care. This zenith of corporate control over healthcare pushes us one step closer to a dystopian world of mass medication. As the concerned author of the previous DSM Edition (DSM 4) has pointed out, this attempt to medicalize normal everyday experiences is reminiscent of the ‘Somapills’ from Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World –  a world where the entire population takes drugs.

Permalink | Published on May 21, 2013 by Adam McGibbon 

 

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Mumbai- Call HELPLINE 022-24131212 for any Mental Health Issue

100 calls a day, mental health helpline a hit

Bhavika Jain, TNN May 23, 2013,

MUMBAI: Life in fast-paced Mumbai seems to be taking a toll on its citizens. In just four days after the BMC launched its mental health helpline on May 14, as many as 352 calls were received. Currently, the 24-hour helpline is receiving between 85 and 100 calls a day.

According to the initial data, one-third of the calls to the helpline was from people above the age of 50 and they had issues like depression and irritability. The second highest number of calls was from those aged between 30 and 40 , who were facing anxiety and work-related stress.

Experts say the sheer number of calls on the helpline shows that the mental health of the people in the city is falling. People are looking for a medium to vent their thoughts and this helpline aims to do just that.

Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said the response has been overwhelming. The BMC will have to eventually increase the number of lines connected to the helpline, she said. “We have appointed three counsellors to work in three shifts. We have also instructed them that in case there is a very difficult case, they should suggest to the caller that he/she should take an appointment in KEM Hospital’s psychiatry outpatient department so that he/she can be given a personal counselling session,”said Mhaiskar. She said they are not insisting that the callers give out their names and personal details.

The helpline, launched by the mayor, will be operated by KEM Hospital’s psychiatric department. To call the helpline, dial: 022-24131212.

 

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Kurukshetra- Missing Prachi Kumari since 16days Kidnapped and Killed ? #Vaw

prachi
: [email protected]

The Station House Officer

Ideal Police Station

Kurukshetra University

Geeta Kendra
KURUKSHETRA
 

Subject: OUR SUSPICIONS ABOUT MISSING Prachi Kumari SINCE April 1, 2013

 

Sir,

 

Today is the 16th day of Prachi’s Missing from the University College of Kurukshetra University. With Constant and deep Agony we endorse our suspicions about Prachi Kumari’s missing as under:

 

1.    It is the 13th day of our intimating of the name, address and telephone numbers of the kidnappers but we don’t know what the police has done except dragging us to Delhi for an expensive exercise even after knowing that we maintain our works by collecting Alms (BHIKSHA) from the village peasants.

 

2.    We suspect that either the kidnappers are torturing the girl by keeping her away from the communication system for any of their nefarious intentions or have already killed her. Because our only request to the police, just to let us meet her to see her live also in good physical and mental health was not cared yet. Instead we are being mocked at that she has already married so no need of any inquiry about her.

 

3.    As we are a Secular Education Centre so we have all respect for freedom of thinking and freedom of choice, so if she has married to any one of any caste, color, denomination, socio-economic status, ethnic, race or even any gender we would have no problem in accepting her position or also we have no hesitation in giving her moral and any other support we are capable of. Then we don’t understand why the police are standing reluctant in making our meeting possible, if at all she is not captivated, sold for any nefarious cause or not killed?

 

Would the police prove fair to produce Prachi Kumari for our meeting and satisfaction of her safety and physical and mental health? The kind Principal of the University College and her class mates and the Teachers of the UC Department of Bio-Tech are also worried for she couldn’t appear in her final Practical Examination.

 

Kindly help us to meet her if she is married or chosen a partner to live with and if she is kept captive then kindly rescue her so that she can go back to her school and if she is at all killed by the kidnappers then kindly discover and take the action whatever is appropriate for the police and oblige.

 

In Constant and Deep Agony,

 

Swami Manavatavadi                                                               (April 16, 2013)

Manavatavadi Vishwa Sansthan
Rajghat, Kurukshetra-136118, Haryana
Tel: 01744-291278, FAX: 01744-291378 (ask for line)

 

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