An international conference on cognitive behaviour therapy was conducted in the city recently. The event elicited the participation of experts from the nation and the United Kingdom.
The event was organised by the CARE Institute of Behavioural Sciences. Speaking during the inauguration of the event, Dr Andrew Beck, clinical psychologist from the University of Manchester, UK, underlined that the contribution by Indian specialists to the healthcare system in UK was immense. “The mental health services system in the United Kingdom owes a debt to India,” he said.
He pointed out that the challenge was in developing the same to the Indian context. In this regard, he related the success story of how trained professionals from the UK were able to train people in backward regions of Pakistan in mental healthcare.
Director of Government Examinations K Devarajan, who was also present, said that perceptions about ailments relating to mental health have undergone a drastic transformation. “Even children in school are very conscious about how they are treated. Earlier people treated those afflicted with mental ailments with disgust, but today there is growing understanding and empathy.” He promised all help from the government’s side to any scheme for the welfare of those affected with mental health or any other disorder relating to understanding.
Mike Nithavrianakis, deputy high commissioner of the British High Commission for South India, and chief guest of the event noted how the health care in Tamil Nadu was a cut above that of other states.
On mental health provision he noted that it is fraught with challenges, adding that recognition of the problem was paramount.
Scientific sessions followed, in which health experts from both the nations participated.