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NIMHANS hosts Mental Health Santhe: Fair to embrace mental health

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Bengaluru, Nov 03: National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) hosted a first-of-its-kind 'Mental Health Santhe' today. The one-day event aims to increase knowledge of the services available and enhance mental health literacy among the population. NIMHANS is an institute of national importance and holds the vision to be a world leader in the area of mental health and neurosciences.

NIMHANS hosts Mental Health Santhe: Fair to embrace mental health

Fighting the stigma around mental health:

According to the 2011 census, India has around 15.05 lakh people facing some kind of mental illness. Lot many people do not approach the doctor in case of mental illness. In a step to dispel myths and stigma attached to mental health, NIMHANS has organised this event. The event is called 'Mental Health Santhe' and various professionals in the event discussed varied nuances of the issue.

NIMHANS Director, Pratima Murthy, in a video message, said that mental health is one of the most neglected areas of health. Observing the lack of awareness among people, she added, "According to the National Mental Health Survey 2015-2016, being a developing nation, mental health literacy appears to be an underrepresented domain in India."

Holistic Health: A synthesis between mental and physical health

Physical health has remained a priority and is mostly easy to diagnose. On the other hand, mental health has a social stigma attached to it and the patient as well as the professionals take time to understand the problem.

Murthy, while appealing to more organisations to join the event has stated, "Even today, people are ashamed of getting treated for mental illness. There is a need to establish the importance of mental health with physical health. Mental health and physical health are closely related and mental health is an important component of holistic health."

Ignorance is not bliss:

A study reveals that 11% of Indians over the age of 18 with psychiatric problems do not receive the required professional treatment. Lack of mental health literacy and social stigma form major barriers to accessing appropriate treatment for mental disorders.

Mental Health Santhe is one such initiative to answer varied questions relating to confusion surrounding the issue. Losing interest in work, forgetting things, lack of concentration, frequent anger, overthinking, etc. doesn't occur without any reason. The event would help to answer more questions like this and the consequences surrounding it.

Prominent mental health organizations and community partners including Step One, Marga Healing Minds, Medico Pastoral Association, Save India Family Foundation, Destigmatize, Manasa Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Association for the Mentally Challenged, Richmond Fellowship (Aasha Half Way Home), Suicide Prevention India Foundation (SPIF) and Friends of NIMHANS are set to participate.

The event has around 40 stalls with games and activities to make learning more interactive.

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