Mental health of children in institutions severely neglected, says study

A first-of-its-kind study done in child care institutions (CCIs) in Delhi has raised some shocking findings.

The study says that there is a major gap in the psychological needs of children and the available services. It says that mental health is a neglected area in such institutions.

This is the first time that such a study has been done in Asia. It was commissioned by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and conducted by All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. Over 400 children in 17 homes were interviewed and examined.

In about nine of the 17 children homes, the children either did not get any mental health check-up. Many of the homes did not even have a mental care unit.

The study says that a must be developed for every child. Children who end up in observation homes are either abandoned by their families or have been accused or found guilty of criminal activities. They are from poor families, or homeless, and therefore their mental health is important.

Experts said that no plans were made for the children regarding their mental health. It was only in institutes that a child had an identifiable mental illness, was there a follow up record of the mental health care plan.

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