Call for dignified life for those with mental illness

KATHMANDU: The World Mental Health Day is celebrated the world over on October 10; this year it is being marked with the theme ‘Dignity in Mental Health.’ Various programmes are organised to raise awareness and inform people about mental health issues. Pratham Nepal, a monthly magazine, also organised an interaction programme on October 9 at the Ministry of Health and Population to raise awareness about mental issues.

“The brain has its function on memory, attention, intelligence, feeling, thinking, speech appearance behaviour et cetera, and if the is brain affected in its functioning, then patients here are locked up as mentally retarded. They are discriminated against and stigmatised,” informed Professor Dr Saroj Prasad Ojha, Consultant Psychiatrist, Head of Department, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj at the event.

News of forcefully locked up people, they being physically and sexually abused too are common in the country. Depriving someone with mental illness from education and employment too are seen in society. “This is why to raise awareness about mental issues and let people with mental illness live with dignity and respect, it is necessary to make people aware through media,” added Dr Ojha.

Dr Kapil Dev Upadhayay informed that people in the country have started becoming more aware about their mental health. “Many people come to me asking me to check them for depression,” Dr Upadhayay shared.

Highlighting the importance of mental health other speakers also shared the plight of people with mental illness and also asked all to help and cooperate with them. Not only interaction but various journalists, psychiatrists and counsellors and others working in mental health were felicitated during the event for their contribution.