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Indian Express
25 May 2010

Shah spoke on several issues related to mental disorders on the occasion of World Schizophrenia Awareness Day
FORMER chief justice of the Delhi High Court Justice A B Shah has called for opening half-way (recovery) homes for the people suffering from mental disorders.

"This will help in their rehabilitation," he said.

Shah spoke on several issues related to mental disorders on the occasion of the World Schizophrenia Day.

The Schizophrenia Awareness Association has been observing the World Schizophrenia Awareness Day every year on May 24 to focus on social awareness about the illness and as a part of educating people in this regard so that the stigma and the feeling of shame attached to it get eradicated.

The association observed World Schizophrenia Awareness Day on Monday by organising a public meeting at Nivara Vrudhashram .

Schizophrenia, though a difficult mental disorder to cure, is quite treatable by easily available modern treatment methods. Most of such patients improve sufficiently enough to return to their original position in the society, Prof Anil Vartak secretary of the association said.

The concept of schizophrenia is still not definite even in scientific circles. Its definition differs from country to country and has therefore become a very controversial issue; though there is some agreement about its causes, symptoms, course and treatment.

Social stigma, lack of selfacceptance, lack of acceptance of reality are the major blocks in reducing a handi cap. Counsellors have to help the patient and the fam ily to overcome his block so that the person can regain a grip on his career and mean ingful productive life in spite of the limitations put by the illness, Vartak pointed out.

Counselling plays an impor, tant role in treating people y with schizophrenia," says t Vartak. Unfortunately, he adds, there are merely 3,000 y registered psychiatrists in the r country. "Most of these psychiatrists do not have time for counselling. And, if there is time, counselling sessions e are very expensive" he exs plains. The fees for one counselling session ranges between Rs 600 and Rs 800.

"The government needs to s consider a full time rehabilis tation centre for schizoe phrenics," says Vartak, pointing out the apathy shown towards mental illnesses by everyone, even r large hospitals.

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