Earthquake and Mental Health
Posted on: 18 Jun, 2015

Koshish

Members of civil society have recommended KOSHISH to prepare mental health agenda to be addressed and proceed for the delegation to the ministry of health and population. For that, the society made verbal commitment to be with KOSHISH. The commitment was made amidst an interaction program on "Earthquake and Mental Health" organized by KOSHISH on 18th June, 2015. 

Yubraj Chand, communication officer of KOSHISH welcomed the participants and highlighted the objectives of the program with short introduction of KOSHISH. The program moderator Birendra Thapaliya shared his experience of earthquake and its effect on mental health. A music video on post earthquake disaster and a documentary on transformation of lives of women living with mental illness were exhibited on the program. 

Akkal Lama, general secretary of KOSHISH shared his life-history and his journey of recovery from mental illness. He said, "I would not be in front of you if I was not rescued by KOSHISH on time as I was kept inhumanly at a private hospital and given 33 pills of psychiatric medicine a day; my life was ending day by day. Now I became a poet and published a couple of poetry books. I am very happy to be a part of KOSHISH". 

The chairperson of KOSHISH Matrika Devkota shared his life-experience among the participants. He also indicated that, the government is lagged behind to provide mental health service to the people and consequently they are compelled to wander in the streets due to severe illness. The issue of mental health problems could be improvised if the mental health policy could enforced in practice. Still there is no any focal person, unit or department to look after the mental health as it is mentioned in the policy that a unit will be established.

Legal expert Sharmila Parajuli stated the legal aspects of mental health in Nepal. She remarked about the rights of the persons living with mental illness which have been disrupted by the law. "They are not being recognized as human being. They are restricted with their voting rights, employment service and other strata by the law and discouraged to their progressive lives. The government should move forward with affirmative action to protect the rights of persons living with mental illness.", she said. 

The members of civil society Kapil Shrestha, Charan Prasai, Darshan Rauniyar, Mohan Khadka, Ganesh Kumar Mandal, Gopal Shivakoti, Kumar Raj Subedi, Santosh Pokhrel, Rameshwor Upadhyaya, Sumitra Shrestha, Subodh Raj Pyakurel, Rashana Dhakal, Dr. Kedar Narsingh K.C., Birendra Mishra, Kabindra Ram Sharma, Bhoj Raj Pokhrel, Dr. Surendra K.C. and Bishwa Keshar Maskey and others expressed their own views to promote the mental health in Nepal.

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