The societies like that of ours, because of the politics-economic upheavals, always remain stressed. This is a fact of ours, particularly from past some decades. As the science of mind, and the specialised medical discipline of psychiatry grow, new dimensions of how a human mind responds to stressful situation will come to fore. In Kashmir we have already seen that in past some years there is an increased emphasis on mental health. The experts in this field have been expressing concern over the rising cases of mental illness, attributing it to various factors. The current lockdown, and its adverse impact on economic health, and the huge disruption it caused to our routine, has exacerbated the situation in Kashmir. The professionals working on ground are consistently telling us that there will be a rise in stress, and anxiety related disorders. Since ours is an already stressed society, the lockdown will cause more trouble here than other places. The question for the concerned departments, and the civil society at large is how to take care of the challenges thereof.
There are a slew of measures that can be taken. One, the facilities for treatment, for the persons who suffer such ailments, need to be upgraded. More number of experts need to be engaged. The facilities should be made available at district and sub district levels. Two, our academic institutions need to lay emphasis on research in this filed, and conduct field studies. That would give us an idea of the major reasons for mental illnesses, and consequently help in policy framing. Three, at the level of schools we can make early interventions. Our teachers can be trained to deal with these problems. If the boys and girls in our schools can be educated about such issues there are chances that they can deal with tough situations more wisely. Up till now we have completely missed this area. Four, parents and elders in a family have a pivotal role. They should act in ways that don’t frighten younger ones in the family. They should rather be a refuge in any distressful situation. If we all make our contributions this problem can be solved before it turns catastrophic.