State observes World mental Health Day
Kohima/Dimapur, Oct. 10 (EMN): Marking the dedicated 25th year of raising awareness on mental health issues and fighting the still associated stigma, the State Mental Health Institute, Kohima, observed the World Mental Health Day on the global theme ‘Mental health in work place’ on October 10.
Clearing the misconception that mental health is a ‘curse and black magic,’ Medical Superintendent, Dr. T Wabang said mental illness is not a curse or cause by black magic but because of a narrow chemical changes in the brain. He said the main objective of observing the day is to create awareness about mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
Noting that 9 million Indians are suffering from severe mental problems with only 10% getting the treatment, Dr. Wabang remarked that very less people go for treatment due to lack of awareness, ignorance stigma and misconceptions. He strongly asserted on the need to educate the people to remove these barriers by creating awareness.
Speaking on the theme, Clinical Psychologist, Themmungla, said more than 300 million people suffer from depression- the leading cause of disability. She said depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders which impacted on the stability to work and to work productively.
While pointing out that workplace is where we spent most of our lives, she said our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining overall wellbeing.
Themmungla suggested on the need to outline objectives and implement strategies to promote good mental health in the work place by addressing social determinants of mental health such as living standards and working conditions; activities for prevention and promotion of health and mental health, activities to reduce stigmatization and discrimination.
Mental illness, she pointed out has a significant impact on our society – individually, socially, economically which affects each person differently. Hence, she said it is important for all individuals in the workplace to be aware of potential contributing factors to mental health issues and strategies to maintain a positive pathway to mental health care and early reporting of symptoms.
While acknowledging that mental illness can be frightening whereby such persons might hide their mental health problems at work place due to fear of stigma and discrimination, she called upon all to change attitude.
Observing with regret the reported increase of suicide cases in the state over the years, State Programme Officer (NMHP) Dr. Khriezotuo attributed ‘depression’ as the main cause of suicidal cases as per the research.
Briefly out lightning on the activities undertaken under NMHP, he informed that plan is afoot to slowly integrate mental OPD to the general OPDs in the district hospitals.
With only six psychiatrists so far in the State, Dr. Khriezotuo informed that medical officers in the districts are being given basic training on how to handle and treat people with mental illness. It was also informed that Kohima will soon get a district mental health programme.
A representative from the District Legal Services Authority Kohima highlighted on the rights of the mentally ill persons and also stressed on the need to create more awareness on a wider platform to remove stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues.
ANCA: All Nagaland Counsellors’ Association (ANCA) has observed the world mental health day in Kohima State College of Teacher Education on the theme “Mental health in the workplace.”
Fr. C. Joseph, president of ANCA, in his keynote address, insisted that mental health is essential for all individuals as it enables them to realise their full potential, cope with normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to their communities.
Asala, Assistant Professor of the College, invoked God’s blessing, while the college principal Hekishe Sumi delivered the welcome address. Dr. Fr. Boniface D Soza, chaired the programme.
Speeches were also delivered given by Dr. ZaviseRume, Associate Professor, SCERT; and Dr. Viketoulie Pienyii, Senior Medical Officer, State Mental Health Institute, Kohima; on characteristics of mental health and significance of the day.
A special number ‘Carry your candle’ by one of the students enthralled the audience. The celebration reached the climax with the students Interaction and the concluding remark of the chairman.
DMHP: World Mental Health Day on the theme, “Mental Health in Workplace” was observed at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP), Dimapur, observed the World Mental Day with the participation of around 80 members.
Theme speaker Dr. C Kezo, Nodal Officer, DMHP, has stressed on the essence of working in a peaceful environment. According to him ‘A work place is where you stay happy and have the willingness to work and give your best.’
He concluded his speech with an appeal to create a better world with no stigma and make a productive working environment.
Kevitho Kera, social activist and member of ACAUT who has been suffering for 7 years with his illness, lamented lack of awareness on mental illness. He encouraged the clients for continuous follow up and treatment for better recovery.
Sister Mamta, In-charge for Missionaries of Charity, shared about the work done by their association. She said that they are a part of small drop in the ocean serving humanity.
The programme was chaired by Pupoi, DMHP staff, while special song and dance was performed by residents of Missionaries of Charity family.