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Let’s Talk Mental Health: Health deptt launches mental health awareness campaign across Kashmir

Post by M Peerzada on Sunday, January 22, 2023

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Srinagar, Jan 21:  In view of the huge burden of mental health issues in Kashmir, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir on Saturday launched a two-month-long mental health awareness campaign that would be held across the valley.
The campaign titled ‘Let’s Talk Mental Health’ (Waliu Kath Karo) was launched by Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather at Health Secretariat, Bemina where he held deliberations with psychiatrists and cardiologists of valley’s hospitals.
He took inputs from psychiatric specialists about prevalence and magnitude of the disease in the valley and stressed them to effectively work for success of this campaign and focus on trainings of medical offices, IEC activities on social electronic and print Media.
“The magnitude of mental health diseases is huge in the valley. We have launched this aggressive campaign throughout the valley which will continue for two months to provide a healing touch to people so that their psychological health is taken care of,” he said.
Dr Mushtaq said, “We will conduct various camps and counselling sessions for affected people. During this campaign doctors will also be trained at various levels for managing psychiatric related issues in view of less number of qualified psychiatric doctors available.”
During the campaign, psychiatrists will visit schools, colleges, and communities to hold awareness camps and also use social media to reach out to people who seek advice on mental health problems. A helpline number for mental health will also be shared with people.
The director said that a proper and meaningful road map has been prepared for this campaign, so as to reach more and more people. Notably, a roaster has been framed for the doctors who will be part of the valley-wide campaign.
“Many people experience mental health problems. There is a social stigmas attached to mental health that prevents many from seeking the support they need. It is time to break the silence around mental health and illness,” said, Dr Mir Mushtaq, spokesperson DHSK.
It was informed that people can contact Sukoon Mental Health Helpline (18001807202) in case they feel any kind of mental distress, which is run by the Divisional Commissioner Office Kashmir with support from mental health counsellors of DHSK.
In November last year, the UT-level Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (TMANAS) cell was established at the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) Srinagar. It is a three-tier system that has mental health counselors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists available for patients’ calls.
The toll-free number of TMANAS Cell J&K is 14416/1-800-891-4416 and it is open for the general public for providing mental health services and drug de-addiction service 24x7.

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