'12.8% Keralites have mental health problems requiring professional help'

Representational photo.
Representational photo.

Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George said that almost 12.8% of Kerala's population has mental health problems that require professional help.

"Of those, only 15% seek medical support," said the minister adding that it was not due to a shortage of facilities. She was addressing a seminar held at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College on the occasion of World Mental Health Day.

The seminar was hosted jointly by the Psychiatry Department of the medical college, Indian Psychiatric Society (Kerala) and Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad.

Stressing the importance of improving mental health literacy in Kerala, the minister said the health department has undertaken the necessary steps and was hoping for adequate support from the public.

"To strengthen the activities related to mental health, the department has initiatives from the primary level. Besides, the functioning of psychiatry departments at medical colleges will be streamlined and prominence will be given to research," said the minister.

Attending the seminar via video conferencing, the minister inaugurated 'Sneha Kavacham', a training programme for students, parents and teachers on resolving digital dependency. The training programme is run by the Indian Psychiatric Society (Kerala).


Mental illness is also a social problem: CM
Mental illness, apart from being a medical condition, is a social problem that is caused due to lack of food, shelter and education and therefore to tackle it the LDF government has implemented a number of schemes for welfare of the common man, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday.

In a Facebook post on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the CM said: “Mental illness should be considered as a social problem as well.”

He said that in addition to implementing “comprehensive mental health schemes”, the LDF government has launched a number of schemes to ensure the welfare of the common man, including social welfare pensions, food kits, life scheme, distribution of leases, renovation of public schools and expansion of government hospitals, he said.


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