Hyderabad

Focus on mental health of COVID patients

The suicide of 65-year-old Mariyamma, a COVID-19 patient, reportedly due to depression in the District Headquarters Hospital on Thursday has prompted the hospital authorities to step up surveillance on the hospital premises.

Mariyamma, a native of Buddharam village in Nelakondapalli mandal, hanged herself to death in the toilet of the COVID-19 ward on Thursday night. The incident created a flutter in the hospital. In the wake of the shocking incident, the hospital authorities have focused their attention on strengthening the CCTV network and bolster security arrangements on the hospital premises.

The imperative need for the specialised services of mental health professionals in the district headquarters hospital particularly during the current pandemic has come under sharp focus following the incident. Even as the police are investigating into the suicide case to find the exact cause behind the elderly woman patient's drastic step, the major deficiency of lack of mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and counsellors in the hospital has emerged as glaring drawback.

Sources said that the post of psychiatrist sanctioned to the district headquarters hospital under the National Health Mission (NHM) has remained vacant. There has been a long pending demand for the services of qualified counsellors, trained social workers, clinical psychologists and other mental health professionals to help the patients cope with mental disorders such as stress, anxiety and depression.

When contacted, the Resident Medical Officer of the hospital Dr B Srinivas Rao told The Hindu that instructions were issued to the security guards to step up vigil on the premises of the hospital and double the security rounds on the precincts of the hospital building. Efforts are on to further strengthen the CCTV surveillance on the premises of the hospital building, he said.

(Roshini - Suicide Prevention Helpline: 040-66202000)


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 10:16:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/focus-on-mental-health-of-covid-patients/article32537254.ece

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