Dhaka, Oct 14 (UNB) – Mentioning that mental healthcare is required not only for psychiatric patients but also for everyone, eminent psychiatrist Dr Mohit Kamal on Monday said time has come to break the taboo to reduce the suicide rate.
“Mental healthcare is required not only for psychiatric patients, but it’s vital for everyone around us. We often generalise every patient as ‘mad’ when the patient seeks psychiatric help. Breaking this taboo has now become a social challenge and we must overcome it as soon as possible to reduce the rate of suicide,” he said.
Dr Mohit Kamal, also Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was speaking at a seminar arranged by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) at its Dhanmondi head office, marking the World Mental Health Day observed on October 10 with the “Mental Health Promotions and Suicide Prevention”.
DAM Monojotno Centre Coordinator and Clinical Psychologist Md Amir Hossain presented the keynote paper at the event.
Dr Mohit Kamal said the rate of suicides is on the rise for lack proper physical and mental education and knowledgeable and careful guidance. “We should open more windows around us and stop being judgmental towards the basic necessity of such education.”
Citing World Health Organization (WHO) data, Amir Hossain said almost 300 million people are suffering from depression around the world and some 800,000 people commit suicide every year. In 2012, the second most common cause of death among the age group 15-29 years was revealed as suicide.
Among all the suicide incidents in the world, about 75 percent takes place in low and middle income countries, within the age group of 18-40 years, he said, adding that globally, a person commits suicide every 40 seconds.
The clinical psychologist said most of the people who committed suicide had also been suffering from psychological illnesses. “From this perspective, such illnesses might be considered as a reason behind the suicide. The tendencies and attempts of suicide are considerably higher among the females in Bangladesh,” he revealed.
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Dhaka University Kamal Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury and Associate Professor of NIMH’s Community and Social Psychiatry department Dr Farzana Rahman Dina attended the seminar as special guests with DMA General Secretary Dr SM Khalilur Rahman in the chair.