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Lack of awareness causes mental illness in over 6% Indians

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday presented stats in Rajya Sabha mentioning that over six percent of Indian citizens had a mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar disorders due to lack of awareness. The National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health had conducted an assessment back in 2005, which revealed that approximately 75 million people in India had mental disorders like stress, depression and anxiety.

“In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health reported that 10-20 million (1-2 percent of population) suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million (5 percent of the population) from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 percent of the population,” the Union Minister wrote to Rajya Sabha, according to a newspaper.

Though, the Union Minister mentioned that the data was examined in 2015, thus, a possibility of change in figures must be there due to changed lifestyle. He also gave the reasoning for the high ratio saying that the lack of awareness of symptoms of mental disorder is one of the biggest problems. The majority of the people suffering from mental disorders in India are unaware of them suffering from such illness.

There is a need to make people alert about such disorders and also treat patients suffering from it. Nadda mentioned that institutes and hospitals which treat such patients can be helpful. There are three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) in rural and urban areas. Adding to the list, he also listed District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) (in 241 districts in all the 36 states/UTs) has been started by the government to treat mentally ill citizens. The DMHP offers help in school, workplace and also gives counselling on suicide prevention etc.

Moreover, common apprehensions of the illness are said to be emptiness or feeling sad or anxious, feeling hopeless or negative, irritability or restlessness, lack of interest in hobbies and other activities, loss of appetite and hallucinations in the case of schizophrenia. If one seems to have similar symptoms then there are chances one suffering from mental disorder and should consult a doctor.

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Second Edition of Gurugram Literature Festival to Focus on Mental Health and Fitness

Upcoming Gurgaon Literature Festival (GLF), to be held on November 16-17 at the DLF Cyber Hub

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gurugram literature festival
File: Gurgaon Literature Festival Awards 2018. Wikimedia Commons

The second edition of Gurgaon Literature Festival (GLF), to be held on November 16-17 at the DLF Cyber Hub, will be themed around mental health and fitness. It will feature around 80 speakers, including authors, politicians and psychiatrists.

“The festival will also donate 10 per cent of its proceeds to the Sanjay Chugh Clinic to be used for the treatment of the mentally ill,” festival director Ajay Setia said in a statement on Monday.

gurugram literature fest
The second edition of Gurgaon Literature Festival (GLF), to be held on November 16-17 at the DLF Cyber Hub. Wikimedia Commons

“Mental health expert and author Shabri Prasad Singh is one of the directors of the festival, which aims to glorify and celebrate culture,” said the organisers.

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“These health issues are often brushed under the carpet. Sitting at a desk and working for hours in front of a computer is a norm for Gurugram millennials. But we want them to escape to a world where there is a cohesive culture for reading which helps to release stress and fight any mental disorder one may not be aware of,” Singh added. (IANS)