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·     World Mental Health Day observed.
·     Faith Hospital hosted ‘walk-a-thon’ on 10 Oct 2023.

CHANDIGARH, October 10 : National Service Scheme of the Panjab University in association with the Faith Hospital, Chandigarh organized a ‘walk-a-thon’ to mark the World Mental Health Day today. The walk-a-thon started from the Sukhna Lake and after passing through the Rock Garden, concluded back at the Sukhna Lake. More than 250 people from different walks of life participated in the ‘walk-a-thon’.Mr. Rajiv Gupta, Chief Administrator Greater Mohali Development Authority (GMADA) was the Chief Guest on the occasion who flagged off the ‘walk-a-thon’. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gupta congratulated the NSS and the Faith Hospital for organizing the special event to mark the day. He said, with the rapid urbanization and fast pace of life, more and more people are having mental health issues. He told that it is very important to de-stigmatize the mental health issues and treat these like any other illnesses. Mr. Gupta called for greater awareness about mental health issues and told that such events like a ‘walk-a-thon’ today would definitely help in creating awareness about the mental health issues.

Dr. Damanjit Kaur, Director Faith Hospital Chandigarh, who is working as a Psychiatrist since last 15 year, said that mental health issues were becoming more common. Quoting some recent studies, she disclosed that about 20% Indians are affected by mental health issues in one way or the other. She disclosed that the latest surveys suggest that the prevalence of current mental morbidity was found higher in males as compared to females for both current (13.9% vs. 7.5%) and lifetime (16.7% vs. 10.8%). The age group of 40-49 years (14.5 %) had the highest prevalence, while urban metro residents (14.7%) had a higher prevalence for current experience of mental morbidity. The mental morbidity rates decreases as the education status increase, she added. Dr. Damanjit said, most frequent mental disorders, among adolescents are anxiety disorders and mood disorders. Among elderly population, over 15% above 60 years suffer from mental health problems worldwide. Depression affects up to 7% of the population, while dementia affects 5% of the older population and anxiety disorder affects 3.8% of the older population.

In Punjab, the overall lifetime prevalence of mental morbidity was 17.94% and the current mental morbidity was 13.42%, higher than the national average. One out of eight Punjabis are suffering from mental illness and 80% Punjabis are not getting any access to treatment. Higher prevalence of alcohol (7.9%) and substance abuse (2.4%) are the major factors for higher prevalence of mental morbidity in Punjab. According to the magnitude of substance abuse survey (2019) every second male in Punjab is abusing alcohol (50% of the male population).

Prominent among those present included Mr. D N V Kumara Guru, Senior Director, Advancement, Alumni Engagement and External Relations at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali, Mr. Parveen Goyal, Associate Professor at Mechanical Engineering Department, UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Prof Namita Gupta, Prof Shankar Sehgal, Dr Naveen Kumar and Dr Manish Sharma.

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