Although Wenlock Hospital has a ward for psychiatric patients, it requires a psychiatric hospital, said P. Saroja, Resident Medical Officer (RMO), Wenlock District Hospital.

She was speaking on “The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health” on the occasion of World Mental Health Day here on Monday.

The event was organised by the Department of Psychiatry, KMC Mangalore, in association with Wenlock District Hospital and Manaswini, a psychiatry hospital, Mangalore.

There was no government psychiatrist in Dakshina Kannada. At present, doctors treating psychiatric patients were trained in Dharwad and Bangalore, she said.

The hospital treated 15 or 20 psychiatric outpatients a day. Of them, seven or eight were new patients. Since January this year, the hospital had issued certificates to 600 psychiatric patients, she said. The families of patients of psychiatric patients should know that the patient was like any other and medicines should be taken regularly, said Dr. Saroja. K.S. Madhav Rao, senior consultant psychiatrist, Mangalore, in his keynote address, said that much investment had to be made in mental health. Dr. Rao said 5 per cent of the amount earmarked for health by the Centre and in Karnataka was used for mental health.

He said that teachers should be made aware about child psychology so that they did not grow into psychopaths and terrorists. H.S. Deshpande, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Dakshina Kannada District, said with information technology and biotechnology (IT and BT), people were leading a mechanical life in metros. Mental health is an important aspect and is not getting the importance that it should get, he said.

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