12.8 pc of population in Kerala have mental health issues, says Health Minister

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Kerala Health Minister Veena George

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday that about 12.8 per cent of the total population in Kerala have mental health issues that require scientific treatment but only 15 per cent of them seek scientific treatment.

Giving out the data on World Mental Health Day, the Health Minister said that people are not reaching out to treatment centres and medical facilities as they are unaware of such facilities.

"In this context, it is imperative that activities related to mental health literacy be intensified in the society. The Health Department is actively undertaking this mission with the co-operation of all," she said.

Underlining the need for mental health guidance, in a post-COVID-19 world, she said the physical and mental health of the people is essential for the survival and progress of any society.

"Along with the health of the body, the health of the mind is also very important. Everyone needs to pay attention to identify ailments, pains and diseases and seek timely treatment. But it is a fact that most people are not able to diagnose mental health problems, symptoms and conditions and seek scientific treatment. It is important to note that most people do not have an accurate understanding of mental health," said George.

The minister was inaugurating an online seminar organised by the Department of Psychiatry, Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Chapter, Indian Psychiatric Society, Kerala and Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, on the World Mental Health Day.

Pointing out the need for creating more awareness regarding mental health in post COVID scenario, she said, "Particularly, after COVID, people are under stress owing to various factors be it financial or other. Also, everything is shifting to online mediums including studies. The mental health of children should also be given priority. There are misconceptions in the society about mental health that needs to be changed through proper awareness campaigns for which we are working."

October 10 is observed globally as the World Mental Health Day to raise awareness on mental health issues and mobilise efforts to support mental health. ANI

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