9.8 million teenagers suffer from mental health disorders: Dr Chavan
“National Mental Health Survey 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, reveals that 9.8 million teenagers in the age group of 13-17 years suffer from depression and other mental health disorders in India,” said Dr BS Chavan, Director-Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital, and Head, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, Sector 32, here.
He was speaking during the inaugural session of the three-day 15th Biennial National Conference of the Indian Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (IACAMH) being organised by the Department of Psychiatry, GMCH-32.The conference was inaugurated by MP Kirron Kher. The theme of the conference is “child and adolescent mental health: from intervention to prevention’’.
Prof Chavan, organising chairperson of the conference, reflected that considering the scarcity of specialised psychiatrists in the field of child and adolescent mental health, this conference would be a great learning opportunity, especially for students.In her inaugural address, Kher emphasised this event as a “timely initiative as mental health is one of the most pertinent issues that require our attention today”.
The MP said: “Children, who are the future of our nation, need special care and attention. The extreme degree of stress and strain arising out of competition is hampering their natural growth.”
She said: “India has the highest number of adolescents and children in the world. Thus, there is larger responsibility of policymakers, teachers, parents and mental health professionals to give them special attention.
Prof Vivek Aggarwal, secretary general, IACAMH, reiterated upon the theme of the conference highlighting the role of preventive approaches to decrease the prevalence of mental health problems.
Prof Priti Arun, organising secretary, said the conference was a landmark event that propels the concerted efforts at the local as well as the national level in the field of child and adolescent mental health. The conference, which is being attended by around 250 delegates, would benefit both mental health and other professionals, including counsellors, schoolteachers, along with parents, to equip them with knowledge and skills for positive mental health of children and adolescents. — TNS