Azad to inaugurate international conference on 'Community Mental Health'

New Delhi, Feb 15 (ANI): Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will inaugurate international conference cum workshop on 'Asia Pacific Community Mental Health' at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) here on Thursday.

The three-day international conference is being organized by the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in collaboration with Asia Australia Mental Health, a consortium of Department of Psychiatry and Asia Link of University of Melbourne and St. Vincent's Health - a leading health care provider of Australia.

The theme of the conference is 'Building partnership for Community Mental Health Development'.

The conference-cum-workshop will be attended by mental health leaders from 17 countries of Asia and Pacific region as well as state nodal officers of national mental health programme, member secretaries of state mental health authorities, leading mental health institutes, prominent NGOs working in mental health and users of mental health services from India.

The conference will provide an opportunity to the delegates to share their experiences and learn from one another for developing better models of community based mental health care. It will also strengthen the leadership role of India in community mental health development.

The National Mental Health Programme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was launched in 1996, in four districts. Subsequently, in 2003 this was enhanced to include, up-gradation of psychiatry-wings of government medical colleges/ general hospitals and modernization of state run mental hospitals.

The outlay for the National Mental Health Programme has been increased from Rs 140 crores in the last plan to Rs 1000 crore for the present plan period. About 20 percent of all patients seen by primary health care doctors have one or more mental disorders.

One in four families is likely to have at least one member with a behavioural or mental disorder. Together these disorders accounted for 10.5% of the global burden of disease in 1990.

This burden increased to 12 percent in 2000 and an analysis of trends in the World Health Report - 2001 indicates this burden will increase to 15 percent by 2020. It is thus felt that the community mental health requires global solutions and worldwide efforts to develop partnership for the same. (ANI)

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