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‘Mental health problems very much prevalent in Naga society’

‘Mental health problems very much prevalent in Naga society’

(From left) Lovitoli Awomi, Vivi Zhimomi and K Ela, resource persons at the World Mental Health Day organized by Joyous Life Professional Counseling Center and Society. (Morung Photo)


Morung Express News

Dimapur | October 10

To commemorate World Mental Health Day, Joyous Life Professional Counseling Center and Society, Dimapur, organized a programme here at Tourist Lodge on October 10.

Resource persons of the celebration included director, Prodigals Home and collaborator director, Childline 1098, K Ela; counselor, Kendrilaya Vidyalaya Rangapahar Cantonment, Lovitoli Awomi, and director, Joyous Life Professional Counseling Center and Society, Vivi Zhimomi.

Vivi, who is a clinical psychologist, in her presentation on ‘Depression and anxiety’ informed that though one in four people in the world suffer from mental problem or illness, yet the subject still remains a taboo to many societies including Naga society.

In the context of Nagaland, Vivi said basing on statistics, 17.2% of the population are at the abnormal level and 28.8% at borderline level. In adolescent population emotional problem was present in 17.1%, hyperactivity in 16.1% and conduct problem in 5.1%.

On types of depression and anxiety, Vivi said depression includes minor, psychotic, postpartum, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and bipolar disorder, while anxiety includes general anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsion disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia.

The clinical psychologist also dwelled on signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety and treatment of both problems. “If untreated, depression leads to suicide in about 15% of the people it affects… depression is the leading cause of disability and premature death in adults and is predicted to be the second leading cause of disability in people of all ages by the year 2020,” she said.

Vivi said treatment of depression and anxiety include medication and psychotherapy (talking therapy), dietary and lifestyle changes and relaxation therapy.

Director, Prodigals Home, K Ela, said mental health problems is very much prevalent in Naga society but that “most of us refuse to admit or acknowledge them or close our eyes or turn a deaf ear.”

Narrating on her experiences working and interacting with a cross section of people including drug and alcohol addicts, destitute women and children and marginalized section of society, Ela underscored the need to educate the masses on the Mental Health Care Act 2017.

She said the Act clearly details the responsibilities of the government to provide services and ensure the rights of citizens undergoing mental health issues.

Lovitoli Awomi who spoke on ‘Suicide and prevention’ informed that globally, 8 lakhs commit suicide die every year and that suicide is the second leading cause of death among the age group 15-30 years.

The counselor said though Nagaland ranks second amongst the states in terms of suicide rate, yet in reality the figure might be much higher.

Lovitoli also dwelled on the common causes of suicide, warning and signs of suicide and ways to build connections so as to ring down the rate of suicide cases.

The programme was chaired by Mughaho Kiba and, director, Global Mission Asia, Rev. Khevihe Yeptho invoked God’s blessing.


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