‘Let's talk Mental Health’ initiative launched’

Psychologists, Counsellors, Psychiatrists, Medical officers to be trained to identify mental health issues among people
Representational Image
Representational ImageFile/ GK

Srinagar: In order to give further push to the mental health scenario in Kashmir, the government on Saturday launched a Mental Health campaign under the banner of “Let's talk Mental Health".

The initiative has been started by DHSK along with the help of Health and Medical Education and LG administration.

In this awareness campaign, psychologists, counsellors, Psychiatrists, Medical officers will be trained to identify the mental health issues among people.

Besides that, important activities in the institutions, district, sub-district hospitals will be conducted.

Spokesperson, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) told Greater Kashmir that the mental health scenario in the valley is worsening.

"We have launched a Mental health awareness campaign across the valley. LG Manoj Sinha, Health Secretary, H&ME including Director, DHSK are very keen to take steps in order to minimise the mental health problems in the valley," he said.

He said that there is a shortage of psychiatrists in the valley and we need to increase the number and train them.

"Also, drug addiction abuse in the valley is a grave concern. So, we are starting campaigns and will start some activities for the benefit of people," he added.

The two months long campaign was officially launched by Director Health services Kashmir.

Director, DHSK Mushtaq Rather said that the magnitude of Mental health disorders is enormous in the valley, so it is imperative upon us to reach out to people and help them facing stress related issues.

He said during this campaign vigorous IEC activities will be undertaken using social, electronic and print media.

“We will conduct various camps and counselling sessions for affected people. During this campaign doctors will also be trained at various levels for managing psychiatric related issues in view of the less number of qualified psychiatric doctors available in the system,” he said.

He appealed to the Media, to play an important role for dissemination of our information among masses. He said the media has a very important role to play and hoped that they will help the department as they did during Covid crisis with distinction.

Besides that, Sukoon Mental Health Helpline 18001807202 has been for people in distress. The helpline is run by Divisional Commissioner Office Kashmir with support from mental health counsellors of DHSK.

Dr Yasir Hassan, Professor at Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience ( IMHANS) told Greater Kashmir that any kind of initiative to raise Mental health awareness is a welcome step, such kind of initiatives will help to overcome misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health issues.

"It will also help to improve understanding of mental health conditions and increase access to healthcare for those who need it. Usually people often suffer in silence and don't seek treatment for their conditions," he said.

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