West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi on Saturday stressed on the need to become a little more compassionate towards those having mental problems.
The programme was organised by Antara, a psychiatric and rehabilitation centre, to mark its 45th Foundation Day and celebrate October 10 as World Mental Health Day as declared by the WHO.
The organisers regretted the societal <g data-gr-id="29">mind-set</g> which refuses to accord same respect and dignity to people, earlier afflicted with mental health issues, despite having emerged healthy and functional in society later on.
“It is this attitude that Antara aims to change, to give greater respect to survivors of mental illness. Appropriately, this year, the theme for World Mental Health Day is dignity in mental health,” President, Antara, Kamal Prakash said.
“People with mental health conditions around the world experience stigma, discriminations and wide-ranging violations which strips them of their dignity,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, General Secretary of Antara P M John said, “Antara has thus taken a stand to show love, compassion, care, support to the mentally challenged individuals and provide them better facilities as well as treatment, social support and other opportunities.”
WHO has predicted that about 20 <g data-gr-id="30">per cent</g> of India’s population would suffer from some form of mental illness by 2020, the organisers said.
Since the country has only about 3,500 psychiatrists, the government is confronted with the problem of lowering this gap significantly over the next decade, they said.
The organisers expressed happiness that the Centre had already launched a National Mental Health Policy with its assurance to provide adequate funds to all hospitals in the country for better treatment of patients in need of psychological and psychiatric health care.