Health Policy

Mental health helpline launched

Mental health

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Realising the need for immediate mental health intervention for Uttarakhand victims and their family members, the Delhi Psychiatric Centre (DPC) and Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS) on Tuesday launched a crisis intervention helpline for the victims of Uttarakhand disaster to help them overcome psychological trauma, depression, insomnia and disorders.

Persons facing mental or emotional trauma due to the disaster can use the facility round the clock on the helpline number“9910135205.

Callers will be provided with immediate psychological guidance and counselling, said DPC director Dr. Sunil Mittal.

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Victims of such disasters, especially those who have lost their family members can have nightmares, panic attacks, excessive sadness of mood and even death wishes. They may have recurrent thoughts or flashbacks of the incident and may avoid being at the place where the disaster took place. It becomes a major task then to help them overcome the trauma and aid them to get to their optimal level of functioning, said Dr. Mittal. He added that survivors of major tragedies are known to suffer deep psychological shock, have an acute stress reaction or psychotic breakdown.

In the weeks and months to come, many survivors will continue to experience mental distress which will be a challenge to the mental health community, noted Dr. Mittal stating that the purpose of early crisis intervention is to assist people in regaining autonomous functioning.

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