Govt doing little for mentally ill

Kathmandu, December 3:

A seminar on metal health organised today estimated three million Nepalis to be suffering from one or the other type of mental illness.

Steve Fisher, Asia Director of BasicNeeds, an international development charity that works to build a better world with mentally- ill people stated that government, donors and other stakeholders, however, neglect mental illness.

“Mental health is not just a medical issue, but a development related issue that has to be

taken more seriously in the present day context,” said Fisher. He said the government’s efforts to improve the mental health are limited to funding the mental hospitals, which take up more than 50 per cent of the total budget allocated for mental health. Little money is left for other services, Fisher added.

“Mental health should be regarded as an integrated development issue, which includes liveli-

hood development, capacity-building, human rights, tackling discrimination, research and policy and enhancing community health by ensuring proper diagnosis and treatment,”

stressed Fisher.