Anantnag: Over 7000 people sought tele-psychiatry consultation from the Department of Psychiatry at Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag during the past year.
The figures were disclosed by Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, GMC Anantnag, Dr Mansoor Ahmad Dar at a seminar organised in the college on the World Mental Health Day. The tele-consultation was started in May last year after Covid-19 pandemic hit the world.
“Tele-psychiatry has been recommended as a cost-effective strategy which meets the needs of mental health services, particularly in areas that have experienced high-intensity conflict scenarios. It is helpful in rural areas where mental health services are not available,” Dr Dar said.
However, he said that it was never a substitute for physical consultation.
“The treatment of minor psychiatric ailments can be sought through tele-consultation,” Dr Dar said.
He said that only a psychiatrist could take a call on this depending on the severity of ailments.
Dr Dar said that over 36,000 people had turned up to the hospital to seek treatment for various mental ailments during the past two years. “This year, so far, 16,000 people have turned to OPD’s of the Psychiatry department for treatment for various mental health ailments,” he said.
Dr Dar said that they had also established a separate de-addiction OPD where 700 cases of substance abuse had been treated since last year.
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day was ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.
Speaking during the seminar, Principal GMC Anantnag, Dr Tariq Qureshi said that mental health had taken a new dimension due to Covid pandemic.
“People are now getting post-Covid depression, stroke and heart attacks. The disease is curable but the stigma attached with it is the only hurdle. So, the need of the hour is to create awareness among the people,” he said.
Dr Qureshi said that the Department of Psychiatry would organise a five-day programme to create awareness on mental health. “I assure full support of the Department of Psychiatry to provide the best-ever services in south Kashmir,” he said.
The resident doctors of the Department of Psychiatry, Dr Seema Batool, Dr Pinki Kumari, and Dr Junaid presented an overview on various aspects of mental health.