October 19, 2011
Department of Social Work, Amritapuri
School of Medicine, Kochi
An estimated 15-20 crore people in India suffer from some kind of mental disorder such as depression, schizophrenia, psychosomatic and bipolar disorders.
According to the World Health Organization, 3 in 4 mental health patients in developing countries such as India receive no treatment at all.
It is estimated that 8.1% of all disabilities are due to mental illnesses as against 5.8% due to cancer and 4.4% due to heart diseases.
These were some starling facts that were shared by the Department of Social Work at Amritapuri campus during World Mental Health Day on October 10.
MSW students and faculty distributed pamphlets and hosted a poster exhibition at the Primary Health Center in Vallikavu.
“Our emphasis was the management of mental health diseases and the role of family and society members in helping those affected with these diseases,” shared Sooraj P. S., field work coordinator at the department.
“People have several myths about mental health and treatment; we tried to dispel doubts and answer queries correctly. One person asked us about the shock treatment that is portrayed in some films. Others enquired whether these disorders are genetically transferable,” he added.
Meanwhile faculty and students of the Department of Psychiatry at the Amrita School of Medicine were also doing their bit to emphasize the significance of sound mental health at the Health Sciences campus.
Speaking about the global theme for this year’s observations, Dr. Dinesh N., Professor, Department of Psychiatry, said, “The Great Push – Investing in Mental Health is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health in alliance with the movement for Global Mental Health.”
Highlighting the need for unity among the world-wide efforts to make mental health more visible as an important problem, he also emphasized on the rights of the mentally ill and the need for concerted efforts for recovery and rehabilitation.
Final-year students of BSc (Nursing) performed a skit that poignantly depicted the trauma suffered by a family, when a member of the family is afflicted with mental illness. The misconceptions, the stigma and the confusion faced in the final path to recovery were all beautifully depicted.
Sampoojya Swami Poornamritananda Puri and Justice Shri. V.R. Krishna Iyer, Former Judge of the Supreme Court were also present at the event.