MANGALORE/UDUPI, July 27, 2014: Speaking to mediapersons here on July 26, Karnataka State Mental Health Task Force Chairman and renowned psychiatrist Dr Ashok Pai stated that if current plans are realised, Mangalore along with Shimoga, Gulbarga and Chamarajnagar/Kolar are to have residential day care and rehabilitation centres for mentally ill patients.
The decision is to be finalised on the same at a meeting in Shimoga on August 2. The centre will be able to accommodate 50 to 60 patients for rehabilitation along with treatment to start with. The programme will be taken up on a PPP mode. If any private agency comes forward to start the centre, they will be paid Rs 1.80 lakh per month.
Dr Pai also suggested the need for imparting sex education in high schools and pre-university colleges as it could be useful to check sexual assault against women better in the long term. He added, “Sex education with details on bad touch and good touch, human sexual anatomy should be made mandatory to clear wrong notions about sex among students,”
He has submitted a proposal to the government to counsel the rapists, along with punishing him. Without counselling, healing will not happen and the crime may be repeated again after imprisonment and release. For this he has proposed to set up Santhwana centres with counsellors in every district.
Expressing concern over the acute shortage of mental health care in the State, he said the task force aims to make the State a model State in mental health care. Therefore, each district needs a team of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers and nurses etc.. to attend to mental health needs to a minimal level. But, there are no psychiatrists in Ramnagar, Karwar, Bijapur and Yadgiri and so on in the State. There are no clinical psychologists in 18 districts of the State, he revealed.
There are only 180 psychiatrists in Karnataka and 50 per cent of the total 40 psychiatrists who are trained in Karnataka every year move over seas.
He added that each district would receive Rs two crore every year for district mental care programme. The Task Force aims to have a comprehensive mental health service programme in all the district hospitals and also to start schools for the residential care of the mentally retarded children in each district with about 50 inmates.
The Task Force will also start training programme for teachers and treat and rehabilitate mentally disabled, spastics and multiple disabilities. For common problems like examination fear, suicidal tendencies for love failure can be treated by teachers as counsellors in schools. Dr Pai said surveys have indicated that 14 per cent of the population in the country need mental health care. Two per cent of the population was suffering from psychosis; six per cent needs care for neurosis; four per cent of population needs treatment for personality disorders such as drug abuse, deviant sexual behaviour, psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies; and two per cent of the population suffer from mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disability, he said. Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim among others were present.