Awareness about mental illness and acceptance of treatment are very low due to social stigma and superstition, says Prof Nure Alam of Rajshahi University
Highlighting the importance of mental health, academics and researchers stressed the need for ensuring mental health to all for their betterment.
They mentioned that optimum treatment and necessary healthcare facilities towards the mentally sick people are very vital to facilitate them to get back their normal life.
They made the observations while addressing a street-corner meeting at Shaheb Bazar Zero Point in Rajshahi on Saturday. The Department of Clinical Psychology of Rajshahi University organized the meeting to mark the World Mental Health Day 2020.
The main theme of the day is “Mental Health for All: Greater Investment-Greater Access”.
Associate professor of the department, Dr Nure Alam Siddique, addressed the meeting as the focal person. Assistant professors Dr Shariful Islam, Tarun Hassan and Tapan Kumar Barman also spoke on the occasion.
Dr Alam said mental illnesses are an under-recognized public health problem in Bangladesh. “Awareness about mental illness and acceptance of treatment are very low due to social stigma and superstition.”
Psychosocial care of mentally sick and disaster affected people constitute a major challenge for the health and the social welfare systems of the country.
Taking advantage of the situation, he said, some quacks and opportunist groups have been working as money-makers by exploiting the patients.
Dr Alam added that the malpractitioners are pushing the patients to endangered conditions. Mental health needs to be brought under the surveillance system incorporating other non-communicable diseases.
The state level treatment facilities for the mental disorder patients are very limited, he said and underscored the need for uplifting the scopes to cope with the situation.
Integration of mental health services with primary health care has become the most viable way of narrowing the treatment gap and ensuring that common people benefit from mental health promotion.
Dr Shariful Islam said all the drug addicts, especially the intravenous drug users, always suffer from mental sickness as the drugs damage their physical strength and the central nervous system.
He said the mental patients are the most vulnerable sections of the society. They are subjected to repression and oppression frequently and stressed the need for bringing them under proper treatment.