Amid overload of cases,workforce shortage ‘stressing’ Dimapur’s Mental Health Prog

Dr Chikrozho Kezo, Psychiatrist and Nodal officer, DMHP.
Dr Chikrozho Kezo, Psychiatrist and Nodal officer, DMHP.

Dimapur, October 10 (MExN): The District Mental Health Programme (DMHP), Dimapur team is “overloaded with cases” but faces acute shortage of human resource resulting, an official said today. 

As a result, Dr Chikrozho Kezo, Psychiatrist and Nodal officer, DHMP regretted that team’s inability to create much awareness on the issue of mental health despite the palpable need. 

He was addressing the World Mental Health Day 2020 programme held on the theme ‘Mental health for all; greater investment, greater access’ at Prodigals’ Home Community Mental Health Programme office, Chümoukedima on October 10. 

The event was organized by DMHP Dimapur, Serendip Guardians and Prodigals’ Home, informed a press release received here. 

Pointing out that despite Dimapur being the commercial hub and with more workload, only one psychiatrist is placed in the Government health set up while there are five psychiatrists in Kohima, Dr Kezo appealed the gathering to demand for more psychiatrists and human resource in Dimapur. 

Primary mental health issues  
Touching on the issue of mental health and mental illness, Dr Kezo said that alcohol abuse is a major cause of mental distress as evidenced in his many years in the practice; the NLTP is a toothless Act, he stressed.

He spelled the need to invest more in mental health by both government and non-government agencies. He claimed that surveys in the US have shown that for every dollar invested in mental health issue, there is a return of four dollars. 

Dr Kezo concluded by stating that the pandemic has affected many individuals, including health workers, mentally and there is a strong need to address the issue by stakeholders concertedly. 

Earlier, he also highlighted on the significance of the day and how it came to be commemorated every year since 1992 as started by World Federation for Mental Health.

Churches can help 
Pointing out that the Churches in Nagaland has immense resources, both financial and human; Rugozevou Khate, a Psychiatric Social Worker of Serendip Guardians opined that the churches could do well in coming forward to join hands in addressing the issue of mental health in the society. 

Khate also echoed Dr Kezo’s expressed need for collaboration across different levels in the society in addressing the issue of mental health and mental illness. 

Khate stated, “We must do away with the distorted concept of mental health which has become pervasive, and for this a lot of awareness is needed.” 

Khate informed that Serendip Guardians is in its seventh year and shared that there is a marked difference from thence to the present especially in the area of treatment and management of mental health issue, besides others. 

“Since mental illness is not as visible as physical illness, the issue is not talked about much; the present pandemic has actually brought the topic of mental health to the forefront,” she said.

“We must grab the opportunity and do as much as possible in the field of mental health,” she added.

Community Mental Health Prog
Sharing on the newly launched project, Community Mental Health Programme (CMHP), K Sani, the project field coordinator informed that the CMHP is being funded by Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives and technically supported by Ashadeep, Guwahati. A three year programme, the project would be addressing disorders related to common and severe mental disorder, intellectual disability and convulsive epilepsy in Chümoukedima Block. 

The day’s programme being held at its office premises, he said, was to familiarise the area leaders with the project and also the office location. The CMHP would be carrying out awareness programmes at village/community levels, trainings for accredited social health activists (ASHAs) and Anganwadi workers, workshops with stakeholders, conducting OPDs for the stated disorders, providing some free medicines, home visitations for psycho education/counselling, besides other activities. 

After the sessions, there was a brief sharing and discussion among the resource persons and the participants, the release stated.