Cadila Pharmaceuticals recently hosted online sessions on student mental health and drug abuse to create greater awareness about the two burgeoning problems.
The session on Mental Health was addressed by Dr Narendra Kinger, founder of Mumbai-based Talk To Me, which was established in August 2018 to create awareness about mental health, and Dr Ajay Tiwari, President and Founder of Varanasi-based Nayi Subah.
“The awareness regarding mental health is very low in India. People are scared of mental illnesses due to a lack of understanding and do not come forward to talk about them. Many people are hesitant to consult a psychiatrist. The key to addressing this issue is creating awareness,” said Dr Kinger, a clinical psychologist, counsellor, and psychotherapist in Mumbai.
Dr Kinger added that physical health and mental health are interrelated, and it is equally important to focus on both. Dr Tiwari said that while mental health has gone up in recent years, it is still low, and as a result, many people tend to regard mental illness as insanity.
“There are a lot of stigmas associated with mental health issues, and awareness among youth, students, patients, caretakers, etc., is the only way to address it,” said Dr Tiwari. Leading doctors also addressed the second interactive session “Against Drug Abuse”.
“Honest commitment is required from everyone to ensure the person with addictions can be treated. Drug addiction is a problem that can be solved, but the doctor and family need to be closely involved for the same,” said Dr RK Thukral, a psychiatrist from Lucknow.
Shailendra Mishra, Zonal Director of Narcotics Control Bureau, stressed the need for law enforcement agencies to work with society to tackle the drug menace effectively. “Society coming forward in any way always helps in reducing drug consumption. We will be happy to work with organisations, and we are confident the society at large will certainly benefit from such associations,” he said.
Dr Vijay Nagecha, senior psychiatrist from Rajkot said that while drugs give a euphoric feeling initially and help consumers feel elated, extended consumption can lead to addiction and harm the body.
Dr Deeptanshu Agarwal, a psychiatrist from Lucknow said different treatment modules are available, and treating drug addiction is not difficult now. He also said parents can keep track of behavioural changes and other signs to see if their children have fallen prey to drug addiction.
Dr Nirav Choksi, a leading psychiatrist from Surat, said, “There are certain taboos about depression, other psychiatric illnesses, and drug addiction, but the stigma is gradually reducing. Drug addiction is also a disorder and not just a habit, and there are various reasons for this. People who have got addicted to drugs should shed the guilt, talk with their parents and their loved ones, and approach experts for help.”
“Drug abuse and mental health go hand in hand. The people who are under harmful addictions are not only putting their physical health at stake but can also suffer severe mental issues. We want to do our bit to create awareness and a safe space for people to seek help,” said OP Singh, President, Sales and Marketing, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.