The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) on Tuesday informed the Karnataka High Court that in the state counseling has been given to 21,000 migrant workers, during the lockdown period.
Dr.Naveen Kumar, Deputy Director of Mental Health, NIMHANS, addressed the court via video conferencing. The previous hearing court had called upon him to inform steps taken to address the issue of mental illness suffered by the citizens due to lockdown.
He told the court that helplines have been set up by NIMHANS which work through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). About 300 workers are doing counseling through IVRS lines to four categories of people in twenty-one States. The first category is of adolescents, the second is of normal adults, the third is of elderly people and the fourth category is of women affected by domestic violence.
"In the State of Karnataka, counseling has been given to 21,000 migrant workers. Counseling is extended to those who are quarantined in institutions as well as to those who are in isolation," Kumar told the court.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna appreciated the service rendered by NIMHANS. The bench was also told by Dr Kumar that on April 27, a team of NIMHANS along with a team of BBMP, visited 26 camps in the State and counseling was done to about 900 migrants. It is pointed out that so far, consultation has been provided to about 52,000 people."
To create awareness about mental illness articles are being regularly published by NIMHANS in PrajaVani Kannada newspaper on various issues and very shortly, articles will also be published on the issue of withdrawal symptoms faced by some persons. News bulletins are also being published on the website of NIMHANS recording the steps taken by NIMHANS.
The bench directed the State Government to give adequate publicity to the various facilities extended by NIMHANS so that a large number of citizens can take benefit of that.
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