ANMs trained to spot mental health problems in rural populace

Gangtok, 23 Mar:

District Counseling Center of Singtam District Hospital, East Sikkim, under Department of Health Care, organized a daylong orientation training for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives [ANMs] of Primary Health Sub Centers of East district today to develop their skills in recognition of mental health problems in rural population, a press release informs.

Chief Medical Officer, East, Dr Tshering Laden, Addiction Psychiatrist, Dr Satish Rasaily, Social Worker Counselors, Pinkey Bhutia & Mamta Sharma, Psychologist, Sonam Tongden and District Health Education Officer, Sonam Bhutia, deliberated on various mental disorders, childhood mental disorders, suicidal behavior, mental health problems in women & communication skills as resource persons.

Dr Laden highlighted the importance of positive vibes and positive environmental exposure in the growth and development of growing children starting from pregnancy.

“The Singtam DMHP team is doing extraordinary work towards prevention of mental disorders & substance abuse, promotion and development of quality care mental health services. The East district conducted more than 1000 mental health programmes from 2015-17 by initiating several special campaigns. Recently, we have launched 150 programmes based on the theme ‘Rural Mental Health’ to de-stigmatize mental illness & substance abuse so that patients and family members seek help from treatment centers,” she added.

Dr Rasaily, in his address, said, “Women are more vulnerable to mental health problems during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum period [immediately after delivery] and postmenopausal period due to sudden changes in hormones particularly estrogen and progesterone. Postpartum blues are very common after delivery characterised by sadness, tearfullness, mood swings, irritability fatigue which usually subsides within 2 weeks. However, sometimes postpartum depression develops characteristics like extreme guilt, loss of interests, hallucination, delusion, suicidal feelings and nihilism. Elderly women in postmenopausal stage are at risk of masked depression characterised by somatic symptoms such as vague pain & ache, headache, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, tingling & numbness, burning sensation and other physical complaints which cannot be medically explained.”

He also shared that recent scientific advances have been able to create effective medicine for treatment of mental disorders, drug abuse and suicidal behavior.

District Health Education Officer, Mr Bhutia, conducted the Sikkim pledge campaign in the presence of 52 trainees.