VIJAYAWADA: The officials of Health department are planning to focus on mental health and wellness of people. Proposals are being made to establish counselling centres in all Assembly constituencies or cluster wise. A dedicated helpline for suicide prevention is also on the cards, a recommendation made by the expert committee set up by the State government to study health care system.
At present, Andhra Pradesh doesn’t have a dedicated helpline for prevention of suicides. In fact, the number of suicides in the State is on the rise. However, the Health and Family Welfare department didn’t pay much attention towards strengthening the mental health hospitals in the State.
The expert committee has identified lapses in the field of mental health care. The committee has suggested to set up a dedicated helpline and include/strengthen psychiatry departments in all government hospitals, including teaching, district and area hospitals.
The health department is also planning to set up mental health and wellness centres across the State. If sufficient number of psychiatrists are not available, MBBS doctors will be roped in after training them.
“These days the number cases related to mental health and depression is on the rise . Apart from setting up a helpline, wellness centres have also been proposed. Soon a clear decision on the issue will be announced,” an official said.