'Family decentralisation has affected mental health of people'

High Court judge N Kumar said the decentralisation of joint families has massively affected the mental health of people.

Speaking after inaugurating the district-level one-day workshop on ‘Mental Health’, he said the problem of mental illness is increasing everyday and the fact that the slackening of the family values has been the prime cause behind the social disorder.

“The mental illness is a curable disease and people should accept the reality that they are suffering from it,” he added.

“There is an immediate need to create awareness among people as they find it hard to disclose their mental disorder before society as against physical illness. The studies have proved that nearly 10 per cent of the world’s population suffers from mental illness, of which one per cent is severely affected. However, the percentage in the developed countries is around 20 per cent,” he stated.

Pointing out that, mental illness may occur due to various reasons, he said “the modified family and the modern culture were the root causes of mental illness. People, in want of more money and reputation are slowly moving away from the family values. Stressing the need for emotional back up for the people, who suffer from mental illness, Kumar added that the family should be their first support for the patients. The patient should be treated with warmth. He lamented that people do not accept the reality. “Mental Health Act of 1992, which would be repealed soon, is a boon to the people with the problem, as it ensures security in various forms. He said people should accept the treatment mode beyond reasonable doubts.”

Emphasising the fact that the mental illness is more vulnerable than the physical illness, the judge added that the disease should be handled with care.

Asserting that sexual issues being the core concern of the mental illness, he added that 50 percent cases of mental illness are due to sex related problems. “As India is an orthodox society, people do not come forward to share the problems related to sex. The marriage breakdown is another serious impact, he added.

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