On Sunday (October 10), the Health Minister of Kerala Veena George admitted that about 12.8% of people in the State suffer from mental health issues and require medical attention. She made the remarks during an online seminar conducted by Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad, Indian Psychiatric Society (Kerala) and the Department of Psychiatry in Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram.
As per reports, she conceded that only 15% of such people undergo serious treatment. According to her, the rest of the patients are either unaware of the existence of treatment centres or are hesitant to visit such facilities. While speaking on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, George underlined the importance of mental health literacy. Veena George said that most people in the State do not have an accurate understanding of mental health problems and thus are unable to diagnose them or seek treatment for the same.
“In this context, it is imperative that activities related to mental health literacy be intensified in the society. The Health Department is actively undertaking this mission with the co-operation of all. Along with the health of the body, the health of the mind is also very important. Everyone needs to pay attention to identify ailments, pains and diseases and seek timely treatment,” she told ANI.
Furthermore, Veena George concluded that people have been stressed out due to Covid-19. She emphasised, “Particularly, after COVID, people are under stress owing to various factors be it financial or other. Also, everything is shifting to online mediums including studies. The mental health of children should also be given priority.” It is imperative to note here that Kerala has been one of the worst affected states for COVID which contributes to almost 50% of total active cases in India.
After Maharashtra, Kerala has had second highest total COVID cases in India. Kerala has recorded 47,94,800 of which 1,11,147 are currently active cases. Over 26,000 people have lost their lives to COVID in Kerala. Kerala is the only state which even now, after most states have the pandemic in control, continues to record over 10,000 new cases consistently.