Karnataka launches 'Brain Health Initiative' to help people beat Covid stress

by IANS |

Bengaluru, Jan 26 (IANS) Karnataka has launched 'Brain Health Initiative', a first-of-its-kind in the country, undertaken by NIMHANS in association with NITI Aayog in the state.

Under this programme, the doctors will be trained in screening and treating mental health patients. The initiative is being rolled out in Bengaluru, Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts on pilot basis.

"Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, our government has been helping people to cope with mental health issues in association with NIMHANS. We have conducted thousands of mental health counselling sessions with Covid infected persons and their family members. Since mental health has a bearing on physical health and overall wellness of the individual we need to ensure that everyone is aware about mental health issues and NIMHANS is doing a very good job in taking mental healthcare to the people. Under this Brain Health Initiative even general physicians will be trained on mental healthcare," Minister for Health K. Sudhakar said.

There is a need to even screen newborn babies for mental health issues. Due to various socio-economic factors, genetic and family issues many people suffer from mental health issues. This will have an impact on their day to day lives and quality of life. Therefore, there is a need of more doctors trained in mental healthcare, he said.

Sudhakar insisted that the programme organisers should focus on implementation and deliver good results so that the programme can get more budgetary allocation in future.

Other than Bengaluru, the Covid positivity rate has been less in other districts. It was about 22 per cent last week which has now increased to 32 per cent. About 5,230 infected persons are hospitalised including 3,442 in government and 1,788 in private hospitals. Only about 2 per cent infected persons out of 3.62 lakh active cases are hospitalised which indicates that the severity of infection is not as high as it was during the second wave. It is generally seen that people are recovering within 5-6 days, so there is no need to panic. However, the people must not let their guard down, cautioned the minister.

The third wave is expected to recede by February second or third week as per ICMR. "We have covered 100 per cent in the first dose and 84 per cent in second dose which has contributed a lot in reducing severity and hospitalisation," said Sudhakar.

"Our health department is coming up with a vision document. The vision document lays down a comprehensive roadmap for overhaul of public health care at all three levels, primary, secondary and tertiary. There are about 30 senior experts from various disciplines who are working on this report and about 750 experts have contributed to this over the last one year. CM Basavaraj Bommai will complete six months in office on January 28th and CM will release the vision document on this occasion," he stated.

People naturally have big expectations from their budgets. "We are in an unprecedented situation where we have to categorise the entire economy into pre-covid and post-covid periods. I am confident that both Union and State Budgets will be people-friendly and will provide necessary stimulus for overall development".

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