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Number of mental patients on the rise

Counselling is the solution

Published : 09 Nov 2019 10:22 PM | Updated : 02 Sep 2020 07:39 PM

National Institute of Mental Health in cooperation with World Health Organization reveals in a survey entitled, National Mental Health Survey, Bangladesh 2018-‘19 that  17% of adults in Bangladesh are suffering from mental health complications of which 16.8% are men and 17 % are women. Among those 92.3% do not seek medical advice or treatment.

Survey also shows, 6.7% of mental patients suffer from depressive disorder, 4.5% from  anxiety, 2.1% from somatic symptoms and related disorders, 0.9% from sleep wake disorder, 0.7% from obsessive compulsive and related disorders, 0.3% from neurodevelopment disorder, 0.3% from neurocognitive disorders, 0.2% from substance related and addictive disorders, 0.1%from  personality disorder, 0.1% from sexual dysfunction and 0.01% from disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders.

Out of total mental patients  56% took treatment, 33% avail treatment from private psychiatrists while 23% approach to Ayurvedic homeopathy or neuropathy psychiatrists.

About 30 million people in the country are suffering psychologically and 13 percent of children and adolescents are suffering from mental illness.

Shafiul Hassan, former Associate Professor of Chittagong Medical College said, now   days, mental problems are mainly caused by the misuse of the Internet and the media. He urged the physicians to raise awareness of the disease and treat the patient  with utmost care and sensitivity.

He further said, suicide rate is high in our country. Every year about 11,000 people commit suicide in this country. People with suicidal tendency should be encouraged and be treated on  mental health.

Professor Mohit Kamal, Director of the National Mental Health Institute said, We have to give the highest priority to mental health issues. Mental health care is not like other disease but mental health care is a necessity for every person. Professor Dhiraj Mohan Biswas, former Vice-Chancellor of Khulna Medical College said mental problems do not affect the upper or lower classes only but to all classes. He said drugs are not available for the disease at the government hospitals. He urged the government to introduce the subject Behavioral Science for secondary level students.

He recommended the inclusion of Mental Health subject in the MBBS course. Zahid Maleque, Health and Family Welfare Minister said awareness has to be increased among people from the primary level about the mental health problems.  

He mentioned, mental health issues are not taken seriously for various reasons including ignorance, discrimination against the mental patient and stigma. Recognizing the reality, the general public should be trained in mental health issues, he added.

However, he recommended expanding the discussion at institutional and individual levels, increasing patients' access to health care centers, integrating them into mainstream work when the patient is healthy and above all, creating a social movement on mental health is necessary. There is only one physician for every two lakh patients, he said referring the shortages of mental Physician of the country.

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