World Health Day observed at NIMHANS

“The concept of 'Lets Talk' is multipronged, we should not only encourage people to talk about depression but also listen and understand when shared with us,” said Ratan Kelkar, mission director of National Health Mission, who spoke at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences on Saturday.

NIMHANS observed World Health Day on Saturday, where the topic of discussion was this year's theme – depression. A panel discussion was held on depression with medical experts from several disciplines such as oncology, cardiology, gynaecology, diabetes and endocrinology along with child and adolescent psychiatry, yoga and psychiatric social work. Dr Lingegowda, director of Kidwai Institute of Oncology spoke about how it can be extremely stressful for patients when they come to know of cancer and this makes them prone to depression.

Dr Latha Venkatram, obstetrician at Rangadore Memorial Hospital, said that new mothers who have recently migrated to Bangalore find themselves socially isolated and often report signs of depression. She also said a lot of obstetricians do not recognise mental health issues and called for integrating psychosocial interventions for pregnant women.

Depression is very prevalent among persons with tuberculosis, said Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases. He said that institutions need to collaborate with mental health services for better treatment of TB patients. Speaking about expression of depression being different in children, Dr John Vijay Sagar of child and adolescent psychiatry, NIMHANS mentioned how children are unable to voice their feelings and show behavioral signs of depression that parents need to identify and seek help for. Dr Shivarama Varamabally, additional professor of psychiatry, NIMHANS, said that yoga and ayurveda look at strengthening the brain tissue to function better and thereby fight depression, unlike medication that focuses on fighting the physiological symptoms.

The panel also included Dr Rajendra P Joshi, senior chief medical officer of the central government health services, Dr Priya Treesa Thomas, assistant professor of psychiatric social work, NIMHANS. Ashish Satpathy, Regional Team Leader of South India, World Health Organisation and Ratan Kelkar, mission director of National Health Mission spoke on the occasion.

In the second part of the program, actress Deepika Padukone called out to everyone to join hands and spread awareness and help the society overcome mental health issues. State health and welfare minister KR Ramesh Kumar spoke on the effect of nuclear families and urbanization are causing distress among people and leading to mental health issues. Union minister for parliamentary affairs Ananth Kumar said that about 6% population is suffering from depression due to physical illnesses, relationship issues, loss of loved ones and it is an important health issue to be taken care of.

State minister for medical education Dr. Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, state minister of transportations Ramalinga Reddy and chief health secretary Shalini Rajneesh  were present at the occasion.