Kerala Mental Health Report: 11.36 percent people in the state of unsound mind
About 14.4 per cent of population aged 18 and above in the state has suffered psychic disorder once in their lifetime, according to the latest State Mental Health Survey report.
KOZHIKODE: About 14.4 percent of population aged 18 and above in the state has suffered psychic disorder once in their lifetime, according to the latest State Mental Health Survey report. The report was released by Health Minister K K Shylaja at the Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Science (IMHANS) on Saturday. The sample survey was conducted among people who are 18 and above from six selected taluks of three districts - Thrissur, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta. The taluks were selected as it represented a cross-section of the state’s population. The report was published as part of national mental health survey carried out in 12 states in the country.
The survey was conducted by IMHANS under the guidance of experts from National Institute for Mental Health and Neuro Science (NIMHANS), the key player in the national survey. Though Kerala has a better health care system, about 11.36 percent of the total population is affected by mental disorders, including schizophrenia and other depressive disorders. According to the report, the prevalence of severe mental disorders in the state is 0.44 percent.
About 11 percent are affected by common mental morbidity.
About 4.82 percent of the population is subjected to various mental disorders due to the use of alcohol. The percentage of population affected due to the use of tobacco is 7.22 percent. An alarming finding according to the report is the suicide risk of the state is at 12.6 percent, which the report says needs urgent attention. The double-digit status is almost double the national figure of six percent. It is further stated the risk of suicide is very high among 2.23 percent of the population and affects men more than women.
The report observes though the state has a mental health policy, it does not have an action plan. Also, the report clearly states the poor ratio of the available number of psychiatrists to patients. According to the report, there are only 1.2 psychiatrists for one lakh patients in the state. The availability of clinical psychologists is 0.62 and psychiatric social worker is 0.04, for one lakh patients.
“We follow the staff pattern of 1961, which is not in tandem with the present need. There are limitations for a government to create new posts. We have already created thousands in the sector. But immediate needs will be considered,” she said. The minister said more focus will be given to strengthening the existing projects. “We cannot create posts to fill the inadequacy of psychiatrists in the hospitals. It is not possible. Hence, what we can do is to set up centres at local levels to detect psychological problems,” she said.
Mental health survey
Health Minister K K Shylaja released the report at the Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Science on Saturday
The report was published as part of the national mental health survey carried out in 12 states
in the country.
Though Kerala has a better health care system, about 11.36 percent of the total population is affected by mental disorders
The Health Minister said a mental health action plan will be formed as per the recommendations of the report