Panel moots schools for children with mental disorders

Karnataka State Mental Health Task Force will recommend to the State government to start schools for the residential care of children suffering from mental disorders in each district, Dr K A Ashok Pai, Chairman of the Task Force, said here on Saturday.

The school with approximately 50 students, will work for the mental rehabilitation of these children, he said.


Apart from it, residential care and rehabilitation centres for chronically ill mentally disabled patients in each district has also been proposed, he said.

Speaking at a press meet, he said as per World Health Organisation, as many as 14 per cent of the population require counselling, or some form of treatment for mental health conditions.

Even though a large chunk of the population faced these problems, awareness regarding mental health was low in the region. Awareness would play a key role in preventing the cases of suicide, which has increased in the past few years, he said.

Noting that depression was one of the major reasons that pushed people towards suicide, he said proper counselling for persons suffering from depression would help reduce such cases. “As a measure, proposals have been made for an anti-suicide force and helpline for people suffering from depression,” he said.

As per universal guidelines for mental health services, for every one lakh population there was requirement of one psychiatrist, one psychologist, and two other personnel, with specialisation in mental health.

However, in India, there were only 4,000 psychiatrists, 2,000 psychologists and 2,000 workers with expertise in mental health, which was much less than the requirement, he said.

“While a total of 40 psychiatrists are trained in the State every year, more than 50 per cent of them migrate to foreign countries for practice. Therefore, there is a need to constitute a mental health task force, to address the problems among the population in the State,” he said.

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