Kashmir Witnesses an Increase in Mental Health Cases among Children

Kashmir Witnesses an Increase in Mental Health Cases among Children

According to a survey conducted by Medicine Sans Frontiers, (MSF) in 2015, nearly 1.8 million adults (45% of the adult population) in the Kashmir Valley show symptoms of significant mental distress. This is compounded by the stigma associated with mental illness. The ongoing political crisis, regular shutdowns and lockdowns contribute to a very large extent to the increasing number of mental health cases in Kashmir valley accoridng to many researchers and mental health professionals.

"I tried to committ suicide nine times, and one of the attempts led me to coma. I was suffereing from anxiety, depression, PTSD and panic attacks and I had no clue about what mental health is," says Zoyi one of the survivors and now a mental health consellor.

Kulsoom, mother of a specially abled child says, "I have a child who was normal till 10 years of his age, and after sometime I witnessed regression in him and I took him for treatment but nothing could be diaganosed and he would often sleep and cry. Later I got to know that he had autism."

The mental health crisis has not hit a particular age group in Kashmir over the years of conflict, rather it is affecting everyone irrespective of their age, gender and economic status, and children remain most vulnerable to it.

"I believe mothers are the best counsellors to their children. Later I opened, exceptional minds a mental health clinic where we provide counselling to young children," says Kulsoom.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. In Kashmir years strife left generations traumatized and now coronavirus adds the miseries of people. Due to these duo lockdowns, there seems phenomenal increase in mental health problems in Kashmir. Mental health disorder leads towards destruction and conflict in society as well as in family-like institutions. There are various reasons whereby mental health disorder took place. There are survivors who cope with such circumstances and paved the way for others to meet the challenges in a proper manner.

"There is a stigma associated with mental health in our society, we consider it something very small. But people dont realise that it is worse than physical ailments", says Laila Qureshi, a Kashmir based Child Psychologist and counsellor.

Children in Kashmir, do not get a lot of time to do physical activities, go and play under continuous lockdown and conflict which leads to different mental health issues.

Community Correspondent Basharat Amin reports from Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir for Video Volunteers. Learn more about Basharat and see other videos of his/hers here. https://www.videovolunteers.org/author/basharat-amin/

This video report is directly filmed and edited by a Community Correspondent in the field. We bring you raw unfiltered stories from the most media-dark areas in the country. We bring you this story from deepest, most darkest media areas in the country.

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वीडियो वालंटियर्स के सामुदायिक संवाददाता के द्वारा यह वीडियो बनाया गया है। सामुदायिक संवाददाता हिंदुस्तान के हाशिये के तबकों से आते हैं और ऐसी कहानियां बयान करते हैं जो सामने नहीं आ पातीं, मुख्यधारा का मीडिया जिन्हें अनदेखा कर देता है। जो इन ख़बरों को जीते हैं वो खुद इन कहानियों को सामने लाते हैं। दूर-दराज के इलाकों की ये ख़बरें, मानवाधिकार और विकास संबंधी मसलों पर वैश्विक स्तर पर चुनौती का संदर्भ बनती हैं। इन संवाददाताओं की आवाज़ और बदलाव के पहल को बुलंद करने में हमारा साथ दें। वीडियो वालंटियर्स एक सामुदायिक मीडिया संगंठन है जो वैश्विक सामुदायिक मीडिया आंदोलन की पहलकदमी और निरंतरता के जरिये भारत के 40 लाख लोगों के जीवन को सीधे तौर पर प्रभावित किया है और बदलाव को मुमकिन बनाया है। लोगों को सशक्त करता है और उनकी आवाज़ बुलंद करता है।

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