Experts seek rights to mental health in Nepal

21:10, May 24, 2010      

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Nepali experts on Monday sought for mental health rights to be addressed in new constitutional of Nepal.

A group of experts associated to mental health, law and social development sat on a round table interaction focusing on mainstreaming mental health into general public health policies and services.

"Nepal's constitution has stated health as the basic human rights but its faulty definition has mislead the entire understanding," said Dr. Surendra Sherchan, Director to the only Mental Health in Nepal.

"Though Nepal is a member country of World Health Organization (WHO), it has not acknowledged the absolute definition of WHO's health definition in its law. In Nepal, people understand health as only physical illness while as per WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," added Dr. Sherchan.

He also sought for the establishment of Mental Health Division in Ministry of Health in Nepal.

Meanwhile, advocate Sabin Shrestha stressed that mental health should be addressed in new constitution so that rights to mental health will be shielded.

In a interaction program organized by a non-profit organization Koshish, a national mental health self-help organization, member of the Constitutent Assembly expressed were told about the present situation of mental health in Nepal and what should be done to address the rights of mentally ill people.

According to Dr. Sherchan, mental health disease in Nepal has occupied 12-13 percent of total diseases while more than 4 million Nepali people are suffering from any sort of mental illness of which 275,000 are suffering form strong type of mental illness ( psychosis).

However, there is only one mental hospital in the country with 50 beds. Dr. Sherchan further informed that altother there are only 50 mental health workers in Nepal including 10-12 mental health counsellor.

Source: Xinhua


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