30 C
Bengaluru
Saturday, May 28, 2022
HomePressReleasesBreaking the Barriers: A Whitepaper Series Addressing Mental Health Challenges and Long...

Breaking the Barriers: A Whitepaper Series Addressing Mental Health Challenges and Long COVID Released

Business Wire IndiaETI and PATH released a whitepaper series today on pathways to address mental health challenges and the Long COVID impact in India. The series, authored by various health experts, was released during an online webinar in the presence of eminent public health leaders. The whitepaper series is available to read on ETI and PATH websites.
 
The opening address during the release was given by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization, and Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog delivered a special address as the guest of honor. The speakers at the release event included Dr Vikram Patel, Founder, Sangath, and Professor, Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Dr Virander Singh Chauhan, Emeritus Professor and Founder, ETI; Mr Neeraj Jain, Country Director-India and Director-South Asia, PATH; Dr Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson, M.S. Swaminathan Foundation; Ms Shubhrata Prakash, Director, NITI Aayog; Dr Hindol Sengupta, Vice-President and Head of Research, Invest India and Ms Dipa Nag Chowdhury, Director Programmes, Population Foundation of India. Dr Sukriti Chauhan, CEO, ETI moderated the release event.
 
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization said, “Mental health is a challenge so heavily stigmatized that most people going through it do not even realize that they need help. The first step in tackling the issue is to recognize that one has a problem. The pandemic has caused extensive anguish for a lot of people, leading to mental health problems.  This challenge is worsened due to chronic underinvestment to address this issue. We must prioritize mental health as holistic action is not possible without it. This whitepaper series highlights some approaches that can be taken to address mental health challenges.” 
 
Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog talked about the inclusive need for viewing health. “There is a need to use digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence to detect mental health challenges across the country. This will be an efficient method and would also reduce costs. I hope we can build solutions to the challenges of mental health.” 
 
Dr Virander Singh Chauhan talking about long-COVID and its impact on physical and mental health, said, “Long-COVID is an enigma. While the condition does not affect everyone, it has severe implications on physical as well as mental health. Evidence finds that long-COVID is associated with depression, anxiety, loneliness as people experience a rise in worrying, tension, and nervousness. These people also experience heart palpitations, tremors and sweating. We must remember that the virus and its effects are still present among us. It is vital to understand the mental health impacts that the pandemic will leave us with, and determine future action keeping these in mind.”
 
“The problem of mental health has become more pronounced in daily lives because of the ongoing pandemic. There is a need for immediate action. To ensure this, there must be political will brought to bear on this critical issue. In addition, through a multi-stakeholder approach, an inclusive approach to care needs to be prioritized. This will also help tackle the stigma around mental health and ensure on-ground action,” added Mr Neeraj Jain, Country Director-India and Director-South Asia, PATH.
 
Dr Vikram Patel, Founder, Sangath, and Professor, Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health stated that, “Mental Health is an inseparable part of health. Despite the existing evidence on the large burden of mental health problems and their profound impact in India, the vast majority of people cannot access evidence based psychosocial interventions which are recommended by WHO as the first step of care. India has been the global leader in the design of models for the delivery of interventions for the prevention of mental health problems and enabling recovery from these problems by frontline, community-based workers such as ASHAs and Community Health Officers. COVID-19 represents an historic opportunity to invest in building a resilient mental health care system which focused on scaling up such models of care, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
 
 
Dr Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson, M.S. Swaminathan Foundation highlighted, “There is a need for immediate action on mental health. Earlier estimates suggested that there is a $1.03 trillion loss in economic terms due to mental health disorders in India. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a worsening of mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and others. It is imperative to improve financing on the challenges and acknowledge the extent of the problem, so we do not lose people to mental health challenges.”

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments