Need to strengthen mental health services in country: AzadJanuary 20th, 2012 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Jan 20 (IANS) Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday announced the establishment of an advanced mental health research centre here to provide efficient mental health facilities to people.
Speaking at the convocation ceremony at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) here, Azad announced the establishment of a new ‘Centre for Advanced Research for Innovation in Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences’ at NIMHANS with the support of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“Mental health has been included as a specific component under the national programme and the process of review of the National Mental Health Policy was initiated last year to reflect the principle of mental health being an integral component of general health,” said Azad.
Azad also said that the National Mental Health Programme has been restructured, re-vitalised and the outlay for it substantially enhanced.
“To overcome the critical shortage of human resource in this area, Rs.470 crore have been allocated under the National Mental Health Programme for manpower development, which will help us to produce 1,756 qualified mental health professionals annually,” he said.
He pointed out that currently three out of four deaths in India were due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and injuries.
“The problem of NCDs has attracted the attention of the entire globe and it is predicted that India will be most severely affected and could very well become the world NCDs capital by 2020,” Azad said.
He said the focus is on capacity building to strengthen health systems, improve facilities and enhance quality of care.
“It is estimated that nearly a million Indians are in need of mental health services. Multiple illnesses co-exist amongst those with mental and neurological disorders and also vice versa. The role and linkages of these different disorders and their management strategies are now being actively explored,” Azad added.
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