Addressing mental health gaps in Ilam

Recently in Ilam district more attention has been raised towards the challenges around mental health. According to World Health Organization (WHO) the global burden of mental health illness is 14% of which 75% in low-income countries. Because of lack of awareness, stigma, and no psychiatric care capacity these people do not have access to the treatment they need. There are many mental health care gaps in Nepal as well. Also suicide rates in Ilam are higher than in other districts.

As a first step Karuna Nepal, in support of WHO, initiated a mental health camp for people from villages in Ilam where the Inspire2Care program of Karuna is being implemented.  A team of mental health experts led by renowned Child Psychiatrist Dr. Arun Kunwar assessed and treated more than 40 adults and 28 children with mental health problems in April 2017.  Further follow up and treatment will be given from the health posts and district hospital. The local community rehabilitation workers will support the people with mental health challenges and their families in this process.

This is a beginning of more attention for mental health and as an organisation we are learning how to effectively address the challenges people with mental health problems face.