Kashmir faces a mental crisis due to pandemic lockdown - GulfToday

Kashmir faces a mental crisis due to pandemic lockdown


A Kashmiri health worker speaks with local residents. AP

Gulf Today Report

In Kashmir doctors and psychologists are providing online counselling to those suffering from lockdown-induced depression.

The J&K administration has created a WhatsApp group to help Kashmiris battling depression. The 'COVID Counselling Kashmir' group with 30 doctors and psychologists is helping those stranded in the lockdown.

Doctors say away from their loved ones many are showing signs of anxiety, sleeping disorders, irritability and even suicidal tendencies in some extreme cases.

"Most of the people who get in touch with us are either from Kashmir or from elsewhere in the country. There are many causes of depression mostly people who are facing financial problems and those who are stranded and want to return to their homes to be with their families," one doctor who is a member of the group said.


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The contact details of the callers who get in touch with the Divisional Commissioner's office in Kashmir are forwarded to this group. Around a dozen distress calls are received daily. The effort is to quickly reach out to the people who need help.

"We have given numbers of the psychologists which are in the public domain, anybody who is facing a psychological problem or mental disturbance, he can make a call to them for getting technical advice, they would be available on the phone, people can get the advice sitting in their homes, doctors will attend their calls round the clock," P.K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, said.

Kashmir is witnessing a second lockdown in less than a year causing huge losses to the people. The online counselling is an effort to help those who are depressed to shun negative emotions and to counter the sense of loss.

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