The World Mental Health Day was observed at P A Sangma Stadium, Dakopgre, Tura yesterday with the theme “Mental Health for all, Greater Investment-Greater Access”.
The programme was organised by District Legal Services Authority, West Garo Hills Tura in collaboration with Health and Social Welfare departments, and JA’PANG, a Centre for Mental Health and Alternative Education, Tura.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Ram Singh highlighted the importance of Mental Health and lauded the organisers for taking this bold step for the cause of the people in the region. Informing that this year more focus is being given to mental health problems due to the effect of Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown on livelihood, shutdown of educational institutions and anxiety on their job and career prospects, etc, he said that more awareness about mental health issues should be given to the people including other alternative activities.
According to the data available in the department of Health and Social Welfare departments, he said that in Garo Hills region mostly married women who are the victims of domestic violence are suffering from mental health issues which also leads to suicidal tendencies.
“This issue is also related to alcoholism and substance abuse in men which have led few of them to depression,” Singh said.
He suggested that families, friends, maharis, religious institutions can play an important role to take up and support these issues in future. Moreover, he advised them to observe a person’s behavioural changes, talk to the person and encourage seeking help from mental health experts.
Clinical Psychologist, DMHP, Tura Civil Hospital, Narbecca G. Momin explained in detail about the importance and promotion of mental health and mental illness which is serious in nature and needs to be treated immediately when a person faces these problems.
“Like any other disease, mental illness is also an illness of the mind which is caused by many reasons such as stress, unemployment problem, peer pressure in children, relationship problems, family or friend problems, substance abuse, etc,” Momin said.
Mentioning few signs and symptoms of mental illness such as unknown sadness, uncontrollable anger and irritation, sleeplessness, fear and anxiety, suicidal tendencies, etc, she said that people need to observe and take due care before it gets worse.
However, due to social stigma most of the people fear to avail the treatment facilities provided in the district, she informed and therefore, request everyone to come forward and get themselves treated and be free from mental illness in future.
Legal Counsel, District Legal Services Authority, Rania Marak, Founder JA’PANG, Balmuri K Marak were among others who spoke on the occasion while District Social Welfare Officer, Tura Hemaritha Ch Sangma, Staff of District and Session Court, Tura, Mental Health Dance Troop and people of the area were present at the programme.
On the occasion, the “Mental Health Warriors” Dance Troupe performed a dance sensitising the people on Mental Health and the Awareness campaign was also organised at Te’tengkol Junction, Babupara Junction, Chandmary Junction and Chandmary Field, Tura.