Friday, November 13, 2009

People have poor access to mental health care: Experts

BANGALORE: Access to mental health treatment is a serious issue. Almost 90% of people in rural and 50% in urban areas are deprived of the same, experts have said at a psychosocial meeting here on Thursday.
Inaugurating the 10th world congress of World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR), home minister V S Acharya said: "Almost 20 million people suffer from mental illness. They find it difficult to fight for their rights because of the stigma attached with it.''
The minister had a solution to this: "Shortage of medical facilities and staff in villages to treat mental illness can be addressed by conducting a three-month course in mental health for general medical practitioners in rural areas. In north Karnataka, the Government Medical hospital will soon be made autonomous for treating mental illness.''
On the occasion, NIMHANS, Director, D Nagaraja, said: "Two per cent of population suffer from severe mental disorder. Unfortunately, even today the treatment gap is 50% in urban area and 90% in rural area. Government had sanctioned Rs 120 cr in the past budget and in present financial budget Rs 1000 cr is sanctioned but is not unable to increase the accessibility for treatment."
President, WAPR International, Dr Michael Madianos, said: "In more than 68 countries, 78% of the population have access to less than one psychiatrist. In South Asian and African countries, 89% of the population have less than one psychiatrist for one lakh population."
Psycho Social Rehabilitation, WHO 2002 report shows, globally, 154 million are affected with schizophrenia, 91 million by alchololism, 16 million by drugs, 25 to 50 million by Alzheimer and epilepsy and significant number of them suffer from depression and thousands of individuals commit suicide and majority of those who commit suicide are from developed countries. (TOI)

1 comment:

captainjohann said...

I was one of the members of the organizing committee and only one from CARER community.Though I was disappointed that the CM could not make it, but i was heartened to hear your address mentioning THE NATIONAL TRUST ACT 1998,THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES ACT 1995,THE REHABILITATION COUNCIL ACT 1992.Infact throughout the conference none mentioned the National trust act at all!!!Though a politician, being a doctor you may be little aware of mentallyill from the view point of a Psychiatrist.But carers perspective is little known to bureaucrats and politicians who decide as they always talk to a MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALs only when it concerns any problems faced by carers or consumers because they only think of TREATMENT and not disability.
Infact there was NOT A SINGLE BUREAUCRAT from the Central Social justice Ministry which is the NODAL ministry dealing with all DISABILITIES including disabilities associated with Mental illness.Infact state disabilities commissioner was also NOT present during the entire conference.
All acts relating to disabilites are under revision at the centre and disabled due to mental illness are demanding its inclusion in the National trust act.Supremecourt in its interim order dt 12 the april 2002 in case no WP(C)no 334 of 2001 (case relating to Erawady tragedy of burning alive of chained mental patients)adviced the same but it is yet to be implemented.
There are no visitors appointed in NIMHANS as per Mental health act 1987. Why not oblige some BJP party workers.Why not appoint some BJP workers in the State executive committee of PWDEA act 1995.If you see WHO statistics 2% of a NATIONS POPULATION SUFFERS from mental illness and see the vote bank.
Many of the political class donot understand the difference between a mentally ill person and a person who is disabled AFTER 5 OR EVEN 10 YEARS OF TREATMENT. As a doctor you must be aware that schizophrenia is only treatable but not curable.
We hope the BJP government will do justice to DISABLED DUE TO MENTAL ILLNESS(not i repeat NOT MENTALLY ILL who require hospitalization and treatment).Psychiatrists Swami, Chandrashekhar are excellent and good people but we the DISABLED LOOK FOR SOME ACTION FROM DISABILITY COMMISSIONER.
Please visit of Chennai or talk to disability activists in Richmond fellowship,medicopastoral,atmashakthi,Cadabam in bangalore.
Thank you sir.