Concern over rising prevalence of depression

V. Balakrishnan, DIG, Tiruchi Range, presenting the Best Volunteer Award to Inspector of Police Azeem in Tiruchi.

V. Balakrishnan, DIG, Tiruchi Range, presenting the Best Volunteer Award to Inspector of Police Azeem in Tiruchi.  

‘Mental illness needs to be treated with love and care’


Mental health professionals and senior police officials on Tuesday expressed concern over the increasing prevalence of psychological problems among people in the society at an awards function organised by Anbalayam, an NGO working for rescue and care of mentally ill people, to mark its entry into 30th year after inception.

The way the society treats the mentally ill is a cause for serious concern, against the backdrop of the World Health Organisation predicting major prevalence of depression and other psychological problems between 2020 and 2030. “Mental illness needs to be treated with love and care,” C. Ramasubramanian, Founder and Consultant Psychiatrist, M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai, said in his address.

“The society does not seem to be aware that uncontrollable anger, depression and other mental problems are prevalent in every person in varying degrees,” said V. Balakrishnan, Deputy Inspector General, Tiruchi Range. Department officials have been sensitised to the importance of humane handling of the wandering mentally ill people, he said.

Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi Rural, Ziaul Haque, said caring for mentally ill people facing neglect in the society warrants multiple efforts from entities rendering selfless service.

T.K.S. Senthilkumar, Founder, Anbalayam, said there was a dire need for starting separate rehabilitation homes for HIV/AIDS patients. Likewise, an exclusive ward for mentally ill people admitted as in-patients was necessary in government hospitals. The ward must be attended by nurses and guarded by police personnel as mentally ill patients tend to get away, he said.

Mr. Senthil Kumar also called upon the Police Department to create a Reunion Cell whereby periodic efforts could jointly be taken with NGOs to restore the wandering mentally ill people to their families. NGOs have prevailed upon the civic body to assign a park exclusively for use by wandering mentally ill. The Smart City concept would be meaningless if the welfare of mentally ill people is not factored in. The wandering mentally ill people, who, in very many cases, cannot be confined in shelter homes, can be given wash, clothes to change, and food at the parks every day, he said.

Former Vice Principals of St. Joseph's College G. Balakrishnan, and V. Rengarajan, and former Professor of English G. Ravindran, offered felicitations.

Presenting the Anbalayam Awards, Film Director Prabu Solomon said the real heroism constituted service to humanity. The prevalence of mental illness among people will come down when they are guided by wisdom of observations rather than the unending quest for knowledge, he said.

District Differently Abled Welfare Officer R. Ravichandran, and Medical Officer, District Mental Health Programme, P.T. Krishnamoorthy, also spoke.

Dr. Ramasubramanian of M S Chellamuthu trust & Research Foundation was honoured with Mananalam Kaakum Maamanidhar Award. A. Manohar, General manager(scientific publishing services pvt ltd.) was honoured with Anbalayam Award for Best Social Responsibility, and A. M. Basha, Department of Psychology, Sathayabama Deemed University, was honoured with Best Mental Health Saviour Award, and K Ramakrishnan, Director, Athma Hospital with Mentor of Mental Health Professionals award. The Best Volunteer awardees were Inspector of Police Azeem and Rev. Fr. S. Arochiaselvan.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:44:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/concern-over-rising-prevalence-of-depression/article30569464.ece

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