President Kovind to inaugurate World Congress of Mental Health

ANI | Updated: Nov 01, 2017 20:31 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 1 (ANI): The World Federation for Mental Health, the largest global alliance of mental health professionals, national health associations, NGOs, policy experts, and other institutions, will be organising the 21st WFMH World Congress from November 2-5 at The Ashok.

This one-of-its-kind event is being hosted in the SAARC region for the first time and will witness participation of over 1000 delegates from across the world.

The event will be inaugurated by none other than the President of India Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of dignitaries such as President, World Psychiatric Association - Dr Helen Herrman; President, World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP), India - Prof K Roy Abraham and President; World Federation for Mental Health - Prof Gabriel Ivbijaro.

Chairing the inauguration will be none other than the Organizing Chairmen of the conference Dr Sunil Mittal and Dr Neelam Kumar Bohra.

Statistics indicate that about 7.5% Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders that require expert intervention.

About 322 million people around the world suffer from depression, and half of them live in the South-East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region. There are many barriers to mental health around the world, the most important being lack of awareness and the social stigma associated with this condition. The event will aim at addressing this and more.

Speaking about the event, Dr Sunil Mittal, Director CIMBS India, and Co-founder and Past President, Indian Association of Private Psychiatry, Organizing Chairman WCHMsaid, "This event is aimed at giving the discussion on mental health the impetus that it deserves. The discussions would be vast in scope and variety. Built along multiple tracks and sub-themes, the sessions will also see cross-cutting plenaries to analyse, synthesize, and integrate knowledge, transcend boundaries, and build partnerships addressing matters of mental health in the context of the present times. Mental health affects majority of the people. It is time that this issue is brought out into the open, deliberated upon, and tackled as a society."

Giving his views, DrNeelam Kumar Bohra, Patron, Delhi Psychiatric Society, and former President, Indian Association of Biological Psychiatry, said, "The Mental Health Care Act that was recently passed is a very progressive development and a milestone in improving healthcare in India. However, lacunae still exist such as those in terms of the ratio of mental healthcare professionals to the number of people suffering from mental health disorders. Access to care for such people has also been abysmal thus far. It is important to create provisions that will ensure help reaches even the farthest corners of the country and technology can play a huge role in this direction."

In his statement Prof. Gabriel Ivbijaro, MBE, President, World Federation for Mental Health, said, "Medicine is going through a period of challenge world-wide and mental health and investment in mental health and social care is being disproportionately affected. To rise to these challenges, we need to hold our hope and find new ways of working. I can think of no better place to hold the 21st WFMH World Congress than India, a country that has been able to bring the past and the future together.Further, this will enable in using social capital to make lives of people with mental health problems better."

The World Congress of Mental Health will consist of key sessions such as those on Terrorism and mental health care; the Mental Health Care Act, 2017; role of films and mental healthcare; spirituality & Guru as therapist; Vishwa Samvad which is a global dialogue across stakeholders including patients and caregivers; sports and mental health; and youth and mental healthcare. The event will also witness caregivers share stories about challenges faced by them while taking care of those with mental health issues. Other special highlights include superbike rally, yoga workshops, photography contests, awareness events, film festivals, and art exhibitions. (ANI)