On an average, 65 to 75 persons with mental health problems report at the Cuddalore Government Headquarters Hospital every day. Such cases are also regularly reported at the taluk government hospitals.
Mental health problems manifest in various forms such as depression, anxiety disorder, alcohol dependence, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, according to K. Sathyamoorthy, coordinator of the District Mental Health Programme.
To create awareness among the people that mental disorders could be medically curable, a rally was taken out by paramedical staff from the Collectorate to the hospital here on Wednesday.
Collector P.Seetharaman flagged off the rally in the presence of Joint Director of Health Services Jayaveerakumar and other officials. Dr. Sathyamoorthy told The Hindu that mental health cases were widely prevalent in Cuddalore district.
Therefore, to deal with the situation effectively, a mobile medical team consisting of a psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker was operating from the Headquarters Hospital. The team makes weekly visits to taluk hospitals to cover patients in the far-flung areas.
Dr. Sathyamoorthy further said that initially these patients approach medical practitioners and are later referred to the psychiatric wing. Through the rally, a message was sent across to the people that mental disorder was also a form of ailment and if treated at an early stage, it could be cured completely.
An integrated approach was being adopted to treat such patients, that is, a combination of medical regimen, psycho therapy, behavioural therapy and intensive counselling.
Thanks to the spread of literacy and increasing awareness, the earlier stigma of consulting a psychiatrist for mental disorder was gradually on the wane. It could be gauged from the fact that patients from different economic backgrounds, including affluent sections, preferred to get treatment in government hospitals because of the infrastructure and quality of treatment available there, Dr. Krishnamoorthy added.