Jammu & Kashmir yet to implement Mental Health Care Act despite rising psychological ailments

The Mental Health Care Act 2017 is an attempt to empower people suffering from mental disorders to seek treatment. The Act applies to all of India, yet it is still to reach states where cases of mental health disorders are on the rise.

Case in point, Jammu and Kashmir. A recent study by the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Kashmir, and Action Aid Association, supported by the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), shows that 11.3% of the adult population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from mental illness due to the conflict.

This is much higher than the Indian national average of 7.3%.

The study surveyed 4,000 people across Jammu and Kashmir. It showed that the prevalence of mental health disorders was more in females at 12.9% as compared to males at 8.4%.

The study says that most people have become vulnerable to mental trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, and many other mental health disorders.

As per doctors at Psychiatry Disease Hospital, every day hundreds of patients visit the Out Patient Department (OPD). Many cases of ailments and drug abuse are also reported among children.

Children are suffering from at least six common disorders such as depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism, mood disorders, anxiety, and personality disorders.

The Act makes it mandatory on the state's part to create a system for monitoring mental health care facilities.

However, people facing psychological problems in Kashmir are not getting proper rights and facilities due to lack of proper implementation of the Act.

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