Leading mutli-specialty healthcare provider Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon today launched its Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Studies, a dedicated facility to treat people with mental and psychological issues and help them regain normalcy in life. The department was inaugurated to mark the World Mental Health Day that aims to propagate the idea of Dignity in Mental Health.
While people are increasingly gaining consciousness regarding the importance of good health and healthy lifestyle, the stigmatization and marginalization of people with psychological problems and disorders has continued in India. Not only do people with mental disorders face discrimination and deprivation but also face abuse at the hands of the society.
With a dedicated facility to treat and care for people with mental disorders and psychological issues, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon aims to put renewed focus on the issue of mental health and give it the importance it deserves.
To mark the World Mental health Awareness Week, the hospital’s reputed team of psychologists and psychiatrists is also running a social media campaign asking people to support patients with mental illness by sporting semi-colons and exclamation marks on their wrists, with the hashtag nofullstop.
The punctuations signify the fact that life doesn’t end or come to a full stop with a mental health disorder; rather your life can mark a comma, a colon, a semi colon or an exclamation, and can continue and evolve with therapy. Going with the central theme of living with dignity, through the campaign the hospital wants the patients to feel confident about a way out, like patients of any other illness.
“Mental illness is viewed as a taboo in India. With the government spending only 0.06% of the budget on mental health, and no private effort to put focus, the issue remains on the back burner. Factors such as lack of awareness, myths, superstitions and inadequate treatments augment the problem. Many people fail to get required treatment for years and as a result their condition deteriorates. Most people hesitate to talk about psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety that are very common. Our department would primarily deal with mental patients and work to provide them proper cure and care with dignity. It would also spread awareness and educate people about mental health and illness,” said Dr. Jyoti Kapoor Madan, Senior Consultant, Psychiatrist.
The Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Studies aims to help residents of Gurgaon and nearby areas lead mentally healthy lives. The department will also work to instill dignity in the lives of people who are living with psychological disorders. Apart from Dr. Jyoti Kapoor Madan, the eight-member team of doctors comprising the department includes Dr. Deepak Raheja, Dr. Seema Rekha, Dr. Aprajita Jaiswal, Dr. Niharika Singh, Ms.Priya Aggarwal and Ms.Simran Bedi.
The department is equipped with comprehensive psychiatric services in the area of mental health and management. It has a well qualified and multifaceted team of psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioural experts and counsellors to treat the patients. The Department will have specialized clinics to support different categories of patients, and will not club all patients under one bracket. In fact, as part of preparations to launch the dedicated Department, an annual study of patients visiting the hospital was conducted to identify the areas that require most attention.
As part of the awareness campaign to mark the World Mental Health Awareness Week, the hospital has asked people to post selfies of their wrists marked with varied punctuation marks. Inspired by the initiative, thousands of people joined the campaign on social media and pledged their support to the cause of lending dignity to mental health, by posting selfies with semi colons on their wrists.
“From life coaching and personality development to specific psychiatric issues, we aim to provide comprehensive and quality care to all those who seek to improve the most significant aspect of their health, which is the psychological well-being. Resultantly, the scope of the department includes, comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of adult and child mental health issues, psycho-education for patient and caregivers, formulation of treatment protocol for pharmacological and non pharmacological intervention in psychiatric disorders, formulation of treatment protocol for pharmacological and non pharmacological intervention in psychiatric disorders and more things,” said Dr. Preeti Singh , Senior Consultant, Clinical Psychologist.
With just 0.2 psychiatrists per 100,000 population, India suffers from an acute shortage of mental health professionals, according to WHO. While the numbers hint at the lack of significance given to mental disorders as a public health issue, it also indicates the tremendous socio economic burden on community.
The situation in India, with respect to mental patients, is poor owing to prevalent myths and associated stigma due to lack of knowledge and non-availability of treatment. Most people remain oblivious to the fact that psychological disorders can be treated very effectively.