Monday, 6 October 2014

National Mental Health Bill likely in six months: Report

VISAKHAPATNAM: "The central government will soon announce the national mental health policy and the National Mental Health Bill is likely to be ready in about six months. Under the new mental health policy, centres of excellence will be set up in different states to take mental health to community. Smaller hospitals in districts will be well equipped for better patient care," said NN Raju, general secretary of the Indian Psychiatric Society.

Raju, who is also the medical superintendent of Government Hospital for Mental Care (GHMC), was addressing the inaugural session of the World Mental Health Week (October 4-10) programme conducted by GHMC and Visakhapatnam Psychiatric Society (VPS) on Sunday.

Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr G Santa Rao, the chief guest of the event, said the present 300-bed GHMC will be upgraded to the level of Nimhans with departments like neurosciences with funds from the government of India.

"It is essential to address mental problems before they become clinical. Counselling can play a more significant role than medicines. Multiple sub-specialty clinics are needed for family counselling, adolescent counselling, and counselling for married women and schoolchildren."

President of VPS, Dr GVS Murty, spoke on this year's theme of 'living with schizophrenia.' "Even though it's a chronic and progressive mental disorder, with new and advanced research molecules, schizophrenia is now a treatable and manageable disorder. Under the influence of this disease, one loses rationality in thinking and coherent communication," he said.

"Besides medicines, which is the mainstay of treatment, family support, vocational and occupational therapy and reintegration into society are essential. Early diagnosis and treatment by identifying the patients will yield good results. Advanced antenatal and postnatal care to reduce infections and trauma in infancy will also help in bringing down the incidence of schizophrenia," Murty said.

Schizophrenia patients also participated in cultural programmes including music, poetry, parody and acting during the celebrations. Psychiatric Society,National Mental Health Bill

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