Noted psychiatrist Dr RK Lenin on Tuesday asserted that one of every eight individuals in Manipur is suffering from mental health problems because of the ongoing crisis in the state.
He was speaking at the World Mental Health Day observation on the theme, ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’ at RIMS OPD Block, Imphal. The observation was organised by the department of Psychiatry, RIMS.
“Before the Covid pandemic, around 13 of 100 people underwent mental health issues in Manipur but the figures quintupled after the pandemic,” he said.
Dr Lenin who also serves as a professor in the Psychiatry department, RIMS pointed out that even though the numbers were alarming, the ratio of patients coming in for treatment were disappointingly low.
“The fear of societal stigmatisation and unawareness about mental health problems are primary factors for the low patient numbers. The proactive roles from friends, family and the individual are crucial to rectify this issue,” he said.
He added that people should look into the facilities provided by various medical institutions and read up on the health issues if they wanted to avail themselves of such treatments.
He maintained that true physical well being would not be complete without mental fitness.
The two are inseparable and interdependent, he added.
He highlighted that the increasing pressure and the changing lifestyles of modern society are key factors for the increase in mental health problems.
RIMS medical superintendent N Sanjib, RIMS Director G Sunil Kumar Sharma, department of Psychiatry RIMS gi HOD S Gojendra along with doctors and nurses of the institute were present at the observance.
Meanwhile, the department of Sports Psychology, National Sports University also observed World Mental Health Day at the University’s Multipurpose Hall in Khuman Lampak.
Speaking on the occasion, professor of department of Sport Psychology, National Sports University Ningthoujam Debala highlighted that mental fitness was crucial for enhanced performance in sports.
She also pointed out that faculties of the department also organised recreational activities at the relief camps inside Khuman Lampak.
The programme was organised to aid the camp inmates de-stress and relieve their traumas, she added. As part of the observation, students of the department also organised a fair in which various interactive stalls were set up.
NSU vice chancellor Usha S Nair, Social Welfare department, CDPO, clinical psychologist Yendrembam Miranda and students of the university were present at the observance.
The day was also observed in Imphal East where RK Lenin stressed that the ongoing conflict which unfolded in the past five months would have affected the mental health of every section of society. The present crisis has given a lot of irreparable loss to society, he said.
“Many precious lives have been lost, property worth thousands damaged and thousands of people rendered homeless. This has resulted in many people undergoing emotional pain, agonies, frustration and change of attitudinal behavior’ he said.
He mentioned that Manipur exceeds the mental health illness record than the national average as per national mental survey 2015. But the state does not have enough mental health institutes to address these health issues, he mentioned. Amid this situation, the ethnic conflict in Manipur unfolded and this may further aggravate the problem of mental health issues in the state, he added.