As conflict continues, mental health cases on rise across Kashmir

70,000 treated by neurosciences institute this year

Psychiatric disorders have become a lifestyle ailment in Kashmir due to the unending conflict as the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) has treated at least 70,000 people with mental health illnesses this year.
Official data reveals that of the 70,000 patients, 2,692 drug addicts were treated till August while 387 drug addicts were admitted to the institute and its centre at the SMHS Hospital here.
“The number is quite high for the past nine months as compared to last year when the total number of patients treated for various mental health illnesses was 64,924,” Dr Muhammad Maqbool, head of the institute, told Kashmir Post on the sidelines of Mental Health Day here.
Hundreds of students and mental health experts attended the seminar, ‘Mental health in the workplace’, organised by the IMHANS here.
Students from various medical colleges and other educational institutions participated in a debate on mental health in workplaces.
“With continuous strife, things go wrong. There are a number of health issues because of the environment which impacts the lifestyle and as a consequence, there could be psychiatric issues as well. I can safely say that psychiatric illness is a lifestyle problem in Kashmir,” Maqbool said.
In view of the rising anxiety levels among youth, Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Syed Abid Hussain Shah, who was the chief guest, said the state government would conduct mental health workshops in colleges and other educational institutions to spread awareness. “We are living in a denial mode on mental health and it is important to deliberate on the issues of psychiatric illnesses,” Shah said.
He said the institute should collaborate with the state government to rope in NGOs and other organisations to create awareness on mental health in Kashmir.

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