Around the Globe and Back Again, World Mental Health Efforts

Mental illness in recent years has increased considerably and has become a global problem. It is also seen as one of the most common causes of disability thus creating a greater burden for not only individuals but also families and societies. This calls for seeking global solutions for the same. Many Mental Health Doctors are doing great service in this field by treating mentally ill patients from low income groups free of cost. Some reputed Psychologists in Pune too are engaged in the noble cause of treating patients from lower income groups at minimal or almost negligible cost. Whatever done, the problem of mental illness is increasing rapidly and serious steps need to be taken in the right direction.

Over the years, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has strengthened and given boost to its global research portfolio on Mental Health. NIMH has encouraged many motivated and concerted projects to bring about progressive and revolutionary research with respect to individuals facing mental illness in the low income groups. The purpose behind undertaking such projects is to bring about rapid health impact not only in the place where the research is carried out but even in the United States for applying the lessons learned to the less deserved population.

The NIHM funded research projects have been put to great use in Nepal and Kenya where researchers , service users and public health officials including nurses, community health workers and district health commissioner including several clients came together to work on a single platform. With lack of enough health care providers, how to deliver mental health care in remote areas such as Bharatpur is a big issue. Say for instance, there are only 150 Psychiatrists in the entire Nepal region to serve a population of almost 30 million people. Also most of the Psychiatrists reside in Kathmandu at a distance of nearly 8 hours from Bharatpur. Though the clinics have nurses and physical assistant there is lack of a qualified Mental Health Professional.

The above situation has prompted the WHO to initiate a program to teach Community Health Care Workers the basics of Mental Health Care. The program developed by name of mhGAP enables the community health care workers to recognize anxiety, depression, Psychosis including other neuropsychiatric conditions. The community health workers are trained to provide basic evidence based treatment such as anti depressants or to provide cognitive behavioural therapy. Another program is to ask individuals with mental illnesses who have treated from such community centres to share their experiences in a clear, compelling and concise way to others. These individuals share their stories with others of how the mental illness affected their lives and in what way the treatments provided by the community health workers helped them to become normal again.

The cutting edge researches in the field of mental illness undertaken globally enable to provide truly world class impacts.

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