Drive to help people with mental illnesses to start next week
To identify and provide medical and legal assistance to people with mental illnesses in the district, the health department and the district legal services authority (DLSA) will be starting a campaign next week.
Under the campaign, titled ‘Kadam Milakar Chalna Hoga’, a team of around 15 panel lawyers and paralegal volunteers will be sensitising people at the district jail, government hospitals and sub-centres, as well as at shelters across the district, officials said. “Screening for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other mental issues will be conducted after a behavioural analysis,” Ajit Diwan, psychiatrist at Civil Hospital, Civil Lines, said.
The campaign also aims to provide people with mental disabilities with assistance and government welfare schemes, such as family pension and employment.
“In our initial research, we found that many people with mental disabilities living at shelter homes do not have ID cards or the required documents to avail any benefits. Our aim is to make the process of getting identification proof easier,” Narendra Singh, secretary, DLSA, said.
He added that several awareness sessions would be held for people to understand mental health under the drive.
The DLSA and the health department would work in collaboration with non-governmental organisations in the district for the rehabilitation of people with mental illnesses.
The first awareness and screening session is scheduled on April 11 at Bhondsi Jail, which lodges about 2,500 prisoners.“Once people with symptoms of mental disease are identified, extensive programmes will be conducted with them,” Singh said. According to officials, after conducting drives in shelter homes, the focus would move towards government schools where children would be screened such symptoms.