World Mental Health Day was observed in Mawkyrwat today in a programme organised by the District Medical and Health Officer of South West Khasi Hills.
The theme was ‘Mental Health for All’ and the programme was attended by local MDC Carnes Sohshang as chief guest and Deputy Commissioner Caramai Kharkongor as programme chair.
Ninety mental health patients are registered in the district, according to the nodal officer of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP), Dr WL Narry. The DMHP has been conducting training for 18 village representatives, training for 19 paramedics and other activities.
Sohshang shared his personal experience of a teenage boy who committed suicide in recent past due to anxiety, frustration, depression and stress and added that due to lack of awareness about mental health and earlier detection of symptoms led to the loss of a precious life. He further said that ignorance of parents and family members to advise children to cope up with depression and difficulties might lead to problems. He advised government departments to initiate a plan on how to conduct awareness programmes to the people in remote villages of the district in order to help people cope with mental difficulties, mental disorder, depression and especially to identify the symptoms at an early stage.
Others who spoke included the Deputy Superintendent of Police P Sangma, advocate Nosmi Hahshah, District Social Welfare Officer L Lyngdoh, besides the DC.
The other highlights of the day were a special song by the DMHP team and distribution of prizes to winners of the drawing and painting competitions.