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DNA India
18 November 2011
Bangalore India

The government has an important role in improving the mental health of children and adolescents. But the problem is neither the government nor society is able to create an environment that will ensure the best mental growth for children in general and mentally–challenged children in particular, additional chief secretary K Jairaj has said. He was talking at the inauguration of the national conference of Indian Association for Children and Adolescent Mental Health (IACAM) at the St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences on Thursday.

The government can ensure financial grant for every child, Jairaj said. “But to understand the role of the government and society in improving the mental health of children, IACAM should provide an action plan to ensure that every child gets access to healthy mental environment,” he added.

Rev Fr Dr Lawrence D’souza, director, St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, said: “When parents become partners in upbringing a child, the growth of the child can be manifested. Thus, instead of individually trying to play their part in bringing up a child, parents should try to join hands in the whole process. This will be of benefit to the child.”

There are various therapies available that can help differently–abled children to cope with the situation. However, involvement of parents is vital since parents need to understand well, when and how to intervene to help their children, said Manju Mehta, president, IACAM.

Speaking about the various psychological therapies available for intervention and prevention of mental disorders, especially among children, she said: “Various types of therapies in practice include behavioural modification, play therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, psycho–education and family therapy. And for different types of behavioural disorders, different types of therapies are practised.”

The national conference will conclude on Saturday and the them is ‘Parents: Parenting and Partnering’.

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