TAMIL NADU

Programme on mental health

SWELLING SUPPORT: Students and volunteers participate in an awareness programme on mental health organised by the IMH on the Marina beach on Friday.

SWELLING SUPPORT: Students and volunteers participate in an awareness programme on mental health organised by the IMH on the Marina beach on Friday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: R. Ragu

Staff Reporter

Awareness creation event on World Mental Health Day

CHENNAI: Nearly 300 college students and volunteers held placards with messages about the need to support persons with mental illness at a programme organised on the Marina beach on Friday as part of the World Mental Health Day.

Organised by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), the programme aimed at creating awareness of mental health problems and the need to identify the illness at an early stage for effective rehabilitation. The participants took a pledge to encourage positive attitude towards such persons as a measure to improve mental healthcare and support their effective rehabilitation.

IMH Director R.Sathianathan said the awareness programme was organised to enhance people’s understanding and acceptance of the illness .

Early identification and treatment were essential for such persons.

Besides treating about 1,740 in-patients, the Institute also gets, on an average 30-40 new patients every day, Dr.Sathianathan said.

Pointing out that there was a dearth of psychiatrists, he said there were only 120 psychiatrists in the city. The Department of Psychiatry has been set up in government hospitals. However, there was a shortage of manpower in several hospitals, including the IMH.

District mental health programmes have been introduced to treat and rehabilitate mentally ill patients, he added.

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