Mental illness on the rise in far-west

Dhangadi, October 11

Mental health problems are all time high in far-west. There are a number of mental patients living in oblivion in major cities of far-west.

According to District Police Office, Kailali, female mental patients are at high risk as there is no one to provide them security and they often become the victim of rape and sexual assault.

Chief Padam Hamal at SOS Balgram in Geta, Kailali said that the Balgram has taken responsibility of two children born from a female mental patient.

Public Health Officer Khagendra Shahi at District Public Health Office, Kailali, said that the number of mental patients had increased of late. “The number is growing due to the lack of timely treatment and superstitious believes,” he added.

“A study shows that around 25 per cent people have been suffering from mental disease in far-west,” said Shahi.

According to the statistics with Kailali District Police Office, due to increasing mental health problems suicide rates have gone up in the region.

Kailali Acting Chief District Officer Mohan Raj Joshi said managing mental patients had posed a huge challenge for the government. He said a committee was formed under the Chief District Officer to recommend such patients for treatment.

But due to lack clear policy on treatment of such patients, nothing significant could be done. “We do not have mental hospitals nearby to treat those patents,” he added.

Health workers said reasons behind the increasing number of mental patients were unemployment, domestic violence and poverty, among others.