Mail News Service
Jamshedpur, Jan 8: Speaking on the sidelines of the government project to ameliorate mental ailments on the backdrop of which a seminar on Mental Health – Identification, Counseling, Treatment Process and Cure that was organized at Potka Block today under the joint initiative of by District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), GRAACE India, an NGO under the District Mental Health Programme, eminent psychiatrist Dr Dipak Kumar Giri observed, “People do get themselves checked when they suffer from any other form of physical ailment; but they are not yet aware that even mental illness requires timely treatment.
Actually, according to a survey report of 2016, India was found very much lacking in the zone of mental illness detection and its cure. We are reaching out to people in rural and semi urban areas and the response level is gradually looking up. But we have to cover a lot more ground to feel the fruition of this ambitious and very necessary government project. Another important area is rehabilitation after cure but unfortunately such centres are rare and too few to accommodate the number of cured patients to ease them once again into earning ways. “
There were more than 300 people from in and around Potka Block who attended the seminar. DLSA Secretary Nitin Nilesh Sanga spoke on the steps initiated in the realms of ensuring mental health and future programmes to be shortly taken up to curb the growth of mental illness. In fact, Sanga has himself led teams to identify mental patients and if found necessary, to shift them for treatment at the Department of Psychiatry in RIMS, Ranchi.
Law students who are also undergoing practical training under DLSA Atiya
Kalam, Nidhi Jha and Harsh Kumar also spoke on the occasion to motivate patients in particular and the family members and relatives in general. A group of school children too attended the seminar and seemed engrossed in the informative talks of the speakers.
Atiya, Nidhi and Harsh stressed on the factors that led to identification of a person in need of mental curative attention. They said that the general signs of mental qualms were keeping to oneself, avoiding company, becoming totally silent, turning lazy and depressed, turning short tempered and unwilling to work, developing insomnia, having suicidal thoughts emerging out of a sense of hopelessness, unnecessarily worrying and having panic attacks with perspiration, feeling excessive heat or cold, being afraid of unknown and irrational fears, starts hearing voices and starts following imaginary instructions far drawn from the real world, feels long standing pains in various parts of the body, twitching, non specific aches and pains, developing fits, seizures, jerks, tingling sensations and epilepsy attacks, becoming addicted to alcohol, opium, cannabis, afraid of people, animals and normal events.
Social worker, homeopath and GRAACE India chairperson Dr Jaya Moitra opined that in spite of civilization taking huge leaps, some social stigmas, especially among the rural people still prevailed. She said that they were worried of what people would say if they found out that someone in the family required mental treatment. “The major cause of mental problems is depression which is more pertinent among young people in the corridor between adolescence and youth. Their depressive conditions range from failure to cope with educational pressure to ‘puppy’ love. As they say, ‘catch ’em young’ here too they have to be identified and counseled. Similarly, people in all age brackets of adulthood develop such symptoms. We are trying our utmost to reach out to people in rural climes like in Potka, Ghatshila and Baharagora Blocks. However, we feel cautiously optimistic that these people are gradually realizing the purpose of our mission and they are now taking such illness seriously and looking for panacea.”
Clinical Psychologist Smita Hembram felt that there were cases of recurrence of mental ailment in people who stopped taking medicines without the consultation of the doctors or simply felt that they were cured. “Another reason for discontinuing medication is financial crunch. Some come from a good distance and bring a couple of attendants along. Not only do they have to pay for their fares but also lose out on a a day’s labour. We are also concentrating on awareness campaigns,” Smita stated.