Anxiety Related Disorders On Rise In J&K

Anxiety Related Disorders On Rise In J&K

20 February 2012
Greater Kashmir
Sumit Hakhoo

Jammu: Taking note of rising incidence of depression and anxiety related disorders among young generation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Health Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 8.50 crore to upgrade diagnostic and clinical facilities in the state for better psychiatric medicare to the youth. Sources said that part of the funds will also be used to upgrade the new psychiatric OPDs being set up by the Health department at various district hospitals, to target the rural youth. Officials said that in recent years psychiatric related ailments have emerged as major reason for suicides, but in absence of trained doctors, patients are not getting any help. Under National Mental Health Programme (NMHP), J&K has already started mental health OPDs at district hospitals across the state in a phased manner. In Jammu region, these OPDs are at present functioning at Government Hospital Gandhi Nagar, District hospitals of Udhampur, Rajouri, Kathua and Samba. Doctors who are running these facilities have been trained by Bangalore-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). “Depression due to lack of employment, financial insecurity, high demands from the office and non-compatibility with partners is major reason for the stress among the people. Militancy during last two decades has affected almost a generation in the state”, said a clinical Psychiatric, Dr Arif Khan, who works for an England-based NGO. It is pertinent to mention here that various national NGOs have raised serious concern over the rise in the suicidal tendencies among the younger generation in recent past. While in Kashmir valley, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has taken its toll on the young generation because of the turmoil, in Jammu region it is unemployment and financial insecurity which is leading cause of the stress. As per the data in year 2008-2009, 122 youth committed suicide, while in 2009-2010, 118 youth ended their life. Similarly during 2010-2011, nearly 121 youth committed suicide across J&K. Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma, said that many NGOs including ‘Doctors Without Borders’ are already providing free consultations and counseling to the youth in the state. “We are seeking more funds from the Centre to train and equip the hospitals with the necessary facilities. Few years back not much attention was paid to mental health problems, but depression and stress among the youth has emerged as major challenge,” Sharma said