Mental health situation worsens in restive Manipur, say experts

One in eight people in Manipur now experience mental health problems owing to the ongoing ethnic turmoil in the state

Observance of World Mental Health Day in Manipur (photo: IANS)
Observance of World Mental Health Day in Manipur (photo: IANS)
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IANS

While global data shows that 13 per cent of people experience mental health problems, which shot up five times following the Covid-19 pandemic, for the restive state of Manipur, the ongoing violence has further worsened the situation to one in every eight individuals, said an expert on Tuesday.

Head of the department of psychiatry at the government-run Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), RK Lenin Singh said no one can be considered healthy without robust mental health, as physical health must go in tandem with sound mental health.

“One in every eight persons in Manipur is deemed to be experiencing mental health issues owing to the current ethnic turmoil,” he said while addressing a discussion at RIMS on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, whose theme this year was, ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right'.

He also lamented that there is social stigma attached to mental health issues.

The problem is compounded when most people normally do not realise that they have mental health problems and do not know where to seek remedy, Singh pointed out.  

Speaking at another event, Manipur health minister Sapam Ranjan Singh said nobody is without stress in this modern world, hence it has become necessary to cope with one’s stress at the right time.  

Referring to the stressful situation that the state is currently going through because of the ethnic violence between Meiteis and Kukis, the minister appreciated the role played by the state mental health mission team during the crisis, particularly for its role in identifying post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting children, and providing consultancy to overcome their mental health challenges.

The minister asserted that there is a need to create an atmosphere where all individuals are mentally fit and no one hesitates to share his or her stress with others in order to overcome it.  

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