Chennai

Breaking barriers of prejudice, insensitivity

On World Mental Health Day, observed on Saturday, a number of organisations came together for a rally on Marina Beach to create awareness, lessen the stigma associated with mental health issues and call for improved social support and dignity for the mentally ill.

The rally, which was held in the morning from the Labour statue to the Gandhi , involved organisations including The Banyan, Chennai Counsellors Federation, Tamil Nadu People’s Mental Health Forum, Dorai Foundation and Madras Psychological Society, among others. It was organised by Win or Win Consulting’s Mental Health Clinic, a press release said.

The Tamil Nadu People’s Mental Health Forum has put forth a number of demands to the State government on mental health. Among these are a holistic approach to mental health services, addressing the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health issues, implementing a State mental health policy based on the National Mental Health Policy and changing laws and polices that are now a barrier to the rights and full participation of those with mental illnesses, a release said. It also said that around 65 lakh people in Tamil Nadu had possible mental health issues.

Meanwhile, Sanmati, a charitable trust, organised ‘Headpsace 2015,’ an interschool cultural festival to promote the mental health of young women in schools. The aim was to build friendly relationships among students, school staff and parents and promote positive behaviour such as respect, responsibility and kindness. Children wanted parental love rather than material gifts and understanding from their peers, a message from the trust said.

The Department of Psychiatry at Government Stanley Hospital also observed World Mental Health Week (October 3 to 10).

A statement from Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for South-East Asia, said dignity in mental health, which is the theme of Mental Health Day this year, meant breaking the barriers of prejudice and insensitivity.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 10:15:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/breaking-barriers-of-prejudice-insensitivity/article7748574.ece

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