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JK yet to work on establishing teams for managing psychological ailments

May 18, 2018

Srinagar, May 16: The state government is yet to act on the recommendations of Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) and Royal School of Psychiatry London (RCL) for establishing crisis teams to combat increasing psychological illness in Kashmir.
Following its survey in 2015, the MSF submitted a report suggesting formation of crisis teams in a meeting attended by the Director Health Department, representatives of Psychiatry Disease hospital, Department of Psychology and Sociology, University of Kashmir and state coordinator of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Mental Health Gap Action Plan (mhGAP) team.
The concept of formation of Crisis team was later incorporated into the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Royal college of Psychiatrists London and Health and Medical Education Department of Jammu and Kashmir in 2014, which was to be assisted by the WHO.
As per Dr Sayeed Aqeel Hussain, Srinagar-based International coordinator for mhGAP, the idea hasn’t been implemented yet as the health department left its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the RCP, London, underutilised.
“It was much needed in current times as we see huge incidents of suicide and mental issues among the people here. There is a need to work on improving and promotion strategies with regards to mental health,” he said.
Hussain said the crisis team were envisioned especially for early identification of patients in crisis, providing treatment and support, refer to tertiary care where needed.
He said it also included follow up of suicide attempt cases for support and treatment.
“The project proposal was discussed by me in the mhGAP forum at WHO assembly in Geneva. It highlighted the need to train the psychiatrists as trainers for establishing crisis team in the community, followed by invitation to psychiatric trainers to UK where they will have an opportunity to get an insight into working of the crisis team in the UK,” he said.
Hussain claimed there was no formal invite sent to the RCP by the state for covering these “essential components” of the programme.
“How is it possible to implement the project when there is not any formal invitation sent to the RCP by the government? I personally asked the RCP to visit, but they demand a formal invitation from the Jammu and Kashmir government to them,” he said.
Director Health Service Kashmir, Dr Saleem –Ur-Rehman, earlier told The Kashmir Monitor that his department had discussed the need for formation of the crisis team.
“They actually developed a tool to identify patients and give them required medical help to combat psychological problems. We have to see whether their services would be required and will act accordingly,” he said.

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Firdous Hassan

Self-help believer, a gadget lover and nature's admirer.
Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India

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