Mental Health issues to be addressed, not mythologized and stigmatized


September 06, Lalitpur-

Interfaith Peace Federation- Nepal (IPFN) organized a 2-day training for national-level faith leaders on 5 and 6 September at Ageno Restaurant, Lalitpur.  Thetraining started with prayers by faith learders respectively from the 6 religions representated there.

Facilitated by Renuka Manandhar and Susmita Bogati, both psycho-social counsellors and health professionals, the training provided model for mental health assitance, explored mental issues, debunk myths and stigmas related  to mental health and illness, and clarified commondly interchanged but technically different terminolofies and concpet, like the difference between symptoms and signs.

But it was also reported that the state has only allocated 1% of its budget to mental health.

Lately, emotional and spiritual health and well-being is also included in the definition of health.

Nepal suicide data is alarming- 19 persons commit suicide every day. It has increased in 2020 as comapred to 2019 by 25%.

People show some signs before committing suicede- like attention-seeking, remaining aloof etc- which are subjective. Symptoms are objective- are the resultant health, mental health issues. Such signs include: disturbances in appetite/eating habit, sleep disturbances, change in behavior, change in talk/speech, change in daily routine/activities, change inpersonal and social behavior.

Depressive Disorder- if sad/low, hopeless mood persists for over 2 week, it is a serious symptom.

Anxiety Disorder- is the feeling of worry casued by perceived threats in the environment.

Psychosis- when a person loses contact with reality, and lives in fantasy, past trauma etc.

In Neuritic disorder, one is still in present, whereas in psychotic dosorder, one lives in the past.

Some myths: Mental illness is incurable; it is a stigma; it won’t happen to me; no need of therapy and counselling, but pills will do; all mental patients are crazy or mad, etc.

The training ended with ways to cope with, prevent, diagnoze early, and provide Menatl First Aid.

In recent years, there has been increasing acknowledgement of the important role mental health plays in achieving global development goals, as illustrated by the inclusion of mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions.

Despite progress in some countries, people with mental health conditions often experience severe human rights violations, discrimination, and stigma.

Many mental health conditions can be effectively treated at relatively low cost, yet the gap between people needing care and those with access to care remains substantial. Effective treatment coverage remains extremely low.







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