Manipur has been witnessing a rise in the number of cases related to mental health disorder. Although mental health disorder can be treated, it is being ignored in the state owing to social stigma attached to it, according to experts.
“In Manipur, approximately 30,000 patients are facing problems related to mental health disorder,” Dr Lenin, founder of Share and Care, said at sensitization programme in Imphal.
The number of such cases is reportedly increasing as social stigma poses an obstacle in accessing proper medical attention to cases of mental health disorder.
“One in every five persons in the state suffers from mental health disorder and hence, mental health should not be ignored,” he said, urging early diagnosis and treatment.
According to The National Mental Health Survey 2016, 14 per cent of the total population in India is suffering from some form of mental illness. This was pointed out during the one-day sensitization programme on ‘Psychosocial rehabilitation of persons with chronic mental illness’ at Panchayat Bhawan, Porompat.
Dr Lenin also said that ignoring mental health disorder is resulting in poor quality of life.
“One person out of 100 has a mental illness and he/she is not able to settle life because of mental illness… Some patients require support, some stay alone while some are unable to perform their duties.”
Expressing concern that many have come with problems of mental disorder after the COVID-19 pandemic but proper treatment was ignored, Dr Lenin said, “Seventy-five per cent of them remain without treatment”.
"We may all be suffering from mental health. We all have feelings and struggles but not everyone is stigmatised as mad,” Dr Lenin said.
The number of patients with mental health problems will reduce with proper medical attention and treatment, the psychiatrist said. The doctor also said it is hugely positive that today people in the state are speaking about mental health more than ever before.
“We are living in a stressful society, so each and every one requires mental health care. There was a stigma of mental disorder but it started changing and an increasing number of people have come out for treatment,” deputy commissioner of Imphal East district, Khumanthem Diana Devi said at the inauguration of ‘Yening Day Care Centre’ at Porompat, Imphal East.
The day care centre, inaugurated in connection with the one-day sensitization programme, is aimed at providing treatment as well as routine check-up and other required support, Dr Lenin said.
Lauding the opening of the day care centre in Imphal East district, the deputy commissioner pointed out the need for mental health care, while mentioning the prevalence of social stigma associated with the problem.
Imphal East Superintendent of Police, Ksh Shivakanta also shared the trouble faced by the police personnel in handling patients suffering from mental illness. They expressed the need for setting up day care centres for the treatment of mental health in every district of Manipur.
Meanwhile, state Social Welfare director Ng Uttam pointed out the various types of mental disability and said that one should diagnose it at an early stage before the condition becomes serious. He appealed to all to stop mocking at mental health patients, and called for early treatment of mental health disorder.
The sensitization programme was also attended by Imphal East, chief medical officer, Lourembam Indira Devi; Samagra Shiksha (ZEO-ii), PO, Bobichand P.
During the programme, popular actress Leishanthem Tonthoigambi Devi was felicitated as ambassador of Share and Care.