A one-day state level consultation to understand mental health needs of children was organised by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in collaboration with Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound on Monday.
In the inaugural function, state commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Manipur RK Kumarjit said that there is no exact definition to define mental illness and various medical models are there to understand it.
Mental illness is not easy to identify like physical disabilities, therefore in a state like Manipur which has high crime rate against children a proper survey is required to find out the rate of mental illness, according to Kumarjit.
Even though physical disabilities could be identified easily there are many unreported disabled persons who have not registered under UDID, he said explaining that lack of specialty and lack of awareness are main cause for not registering under UDID.
Various issues are happening widely in the state that may affect children’s mental health and no studies have been done yet, he added.
MCPCR, chairperson Sumatibala Ningthoujam said parents should not put pressure on children with over expectations. Parents should identify and understand their children’s potential, she informed adding such over expectations and pressure may cause mental health problems.
In the technical session, joint director of social welfare department Bantee Singh spoke on understanding the mental health needs of children with focus on disabilities, identification, intimation and challenges.
Athokpam Ranita Devi, state nodal officer for mental health spoke on interdisciplinary approach for mental health services and psycho-social wellbeing of children and adolescents with focus on disabilities while L Dhaneshore, rehabilitation psychologist spoke on policy issues in accessing mental health services with special focus on individuals with disabilities.
The recommendations of the state level consultations were that every district should organise periodic health camp to screen and assess various disabilities prevalent amongst children including physical and mental disabilities and issue on the spot disability certificate.
There is need for multidisciplinary approach for psycho-social well-being of children and adolescents, more widespread need for preventive and promotional progress to reduce risk factors for mental disorder by collaborating with National Health Mission, NCPCR, education department (S), social welfare, state commission for disabilities, it pointed out.
The recommendation also highlighted that there is need of more specific skill development program for children with special needs, handbook on skill development and counseling staffs for child care institution for reference and use are also required.
It identified that thorough screening and assessment treatment needs of children and adolescents in CCIs and schools in convergence with nodal agencies must be carried out.mental illness, mental health