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Mental health a neglected area: AIIMS study

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAGUN KAPIL
Published : May 15, 2018, 6:15 am IST
Updated : May 15, 2018, 6:14 am IST

A mental health care plan shall be developed for every child and integrated into the individual plan, as per the study.

However, the assessment found that individual care plans were made at the entry of a child into the home, but rarely ever a follow up of the same has been recorded.
 However, the assessment found that individual care plans were made at the entry of a child into the home, but rarely ever a follow up of the same has been recorded.

New Delhi: A study on mental health care services in child care institutions (CCIs) in Delhi has found a “huge gap” in the psychological needs of children and the available services and stated that mental health is a neglected area in such institutions.

The first of its kind study in India, commissioned by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and conducted by All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, interviewed and examined 414 children in 17 children homes and three observation homes.

In at least nine of the 17 children homes, the children either didn’t receive any mental health check-up or received part-time or under qualified treatment. Many of the homes did not formulate any mental health care plan or did not have a mental care unit.

Rule 46 of the Delhi JJ Rules, 2009 provides for maintenance of mental health record of every child by the institution. It said every institution shall have the services of trained counsellors.

A mental health care plan shall be developed for every child and integrated into the individual plan, as per the study.

The children who end up in the CCIs or observation homes are either abandoned by their families at a young age or have been accused or convicted of criminal activities. They are from economically poor sections, broken or homeless families and, hence, emphasis on their mental health becomes crucial.

However, the assessment found that individual care plans were made at the entry of a child into the home, but rarely ever a follow up of the same has been recorded.

“The plans don’t include any methodical approaches as to what is needed to be done for the child. Most of the homes included a child’s mental health assessment within the individual care plan, but it was poorly detailed and didn’t follow any mental health examination,” stated the report authored by Dr Rajesh Sagar, professor, department of psychiatry, AIIMS.

“No plans were made for the children regarding their mental health. Only in institutes where a child had a grossly identifiable mental illness, was there a follow up record of the mental health care plan, otherwise it was absent,” the report read.

Tags: all-india institute of medical sciences, national commission for protection of child rights