One among every five people in Nepal has mental health problems.
This information was shared at an ‘International Mental Health Conference- 2018’ held for the first time by the Primary Health Service Revitalization Division under the Department of Health Services, Ministry of Health, Nepal. The event kicked off today.
Speaking at an inaugural session, National Human Rights Commission member Mohana Ansari said society was still not open and friendly for the people living with mental health issues.Because of this, such persons could not easily share with others about their conditions.
Doctors are still the second priority for consultation in such cases in some areas, people first prefer to visit astrologers for solution, according to her.
“Mental health is a very sensitive issue,” she said, advising a new government to formulate a new mental health policy to properly deal with the issue.
Health Secretary Dr Pushpa Chaudhary stated that mental health programs were the priorities of the government and this issue was incorporated in a new health policy.
According to Division chief Bhogendra Dotel, the objective of the conference is to provide a platform for an exchange of sharing among mental health specialists and authorities concerned and prepare an action plan capable of ensuring quality and accessible health services
Norway’s Ambassador for Nepal, Lasse Johannessen and World Health Organisation Nepal Representative Dr Jos Vandelaer said the mental health problem was emerging as a major health issue worldwide and combined efforts were essential to address it. Their concern was that people had wrong perception towards mental health and psychiatric problems. Public awareness was a must to change this perception, they asserted.
Over 350 representatives including mental health professionals, psychiatrists and students from Nepal, India, UAE, Bangladesh, Qatar, Australia and Norway are taking part in the two-day conference.