‘Over 9.8 million teenagers suffer from depression and other mental health disorders’

Chandigarh, November 8, 2019: “There are more than 434 million children and adolescents in India which is the highest in the world. National Mental Health Survey 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, under the purview of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, reveals that 9.8 million teenagers in the age group 13-17 years suffer depression and other mental health disorders”, said Dr. B.S. Chavan, Director Principal, GMCH, and Head Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College & Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32 here.

Three-day 15th Biennial National Conference of Indian Association of Child & Adolescent Mental Health takes off at GMCH

He was speaking at the inaugural session of three-day 15th Biennial National Conference of Indian Association of Child & Adolescent Mental Health being organized by the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College & Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, The conference was inaugurated by MP, Kirron Kher at GMCH here today. The theme of the conference is “Child & Adolescent Mental Health:  From intervention to prevention’’.

The organizing chairperson of the conference, Prof. B.S. Chavan reflected that considering the scarcity of specialized psychiatrists in the field of child and adolescent mental health, this conference would be a great learning opportunity, especially to the students.

In her inaugural address, Kher emphasized this event as a timely initiative as mental health is one of the most pertinent issues that require our attention today.

Mrs. Kirron Kher, MP Chandigarh emphasized that the children who are the future of our nation need special care and attention. The extreme degree of stress and strain arising out of competition is hampering their natural growth. She further said that India has the highest number of adolescents and children in the world and thus there is a larger responsibility of the policymakers, teachers, parents and mental health professionals to give them special attention.

The Secretary-General, IACAM Prof. Vivek Aggarwal re-iterated upon the theme of the conference highlighting the role of preventive approaches to decrease the prevalence of mental health problems.

Organizing Secretary, Prof Priti Arun said this conference was a landmark event that propels the concerted efforts at local as well as national level in the field of child and adolescent mental health. The conference which is being attended by around 250 delegates shall benefit both mental health and other professionals including counselors, school teachers along with parents to equip them with knowledge and skills for the positive mental health of children & adolescents.

The first day of this academic feast was marked by a CME on ‘Digital world and developing brain: the risks & benefit’ followed by various symposiums and workshops. Dr. Shekhar Seshadri, Professor from NIMHANS Bangalore and Prof Rajesh from AIIMS New Delhi were the speakers for the symposium. Dr. Adarsh Kohli, President of IACAM stated that large the number of childhood disorders can be managed without medications provided these are detected early.

A special hands-on training workshop on Parenting skill training intervention for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which was highly appreciated while symposium on ‘Behavioural addiction & evolving epidemic’ was another enlightening deliberation by the experts working in the field.