Kashmir Indepth

COVID takes heavy toll on mental health of children in Kashmir

Docs ask parents to limit mobile use by children

Faizan Ahmad

Srinagar Oct 05 (KINS): The COVID has badly hit the mental health of below 18 population with thousands of parents bringing their children to hospitals for the treatment.

Children according to doctors are most susceptible for anxiety and stress.

Mohsin Ahmad, a class 9th student is also confined inside four walls for last few months.

The ongoing situation has started weakening Mohsin’s memory who feels frustrated of staying inside four walls.

“He seems so frustrated that he does not know whether it is Sunday or Monday. He awakes whole night and many a times cries. Due to fear of coronavirus we don’t allow him to step out of house. This makes him more aggressive. He fights with family over small things,” his father told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

Last month, he discussed the issue with a doctor. The doctor told him to keep his son engaged in studies, indoor games, and hold positive discussions.

“I have now brought a carrom board from one of relatives and play with my son and nephews. I also brought canvas and paint for my daughter, who studies in class 6th, so she keeps herself busy with painting,” he added.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has pushed crores of people to the confinement of their houses across the world for months. Kashmir depicts a distinct rundown.  As a large population struggling with various mental health issues due to turmoil, the number further went up post August 5, 2019 then COVID lockdown when valley remained shut for months.

The children facing mental health issues are mostly treated at Child Guidance and Wellbeing Centre (CGWC) at the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) Srinagar.

In-charge CGWC Dr. Zaid Wani says COVID affected everyone across the world.

“There have been no schooling for the last two years and very less physical activities for children in Kashmir. They have become addict to smart phones or social media which are not good for children,” he said.

He said they have a multidisciplinary team to treat such children at CGWC.

Training Coordinator at CGWC Syed Mujtaba said they provide specialized services like counseling, therapies, legal assistance, pharmacological intervention, community intervention and other psycho-social supportive programs.

Since 2018, more than 14000 children have been catered at the CWGC and the treatment is provided with free of cost, he said.

Javid Ahmad Mir who has done Post Graduation in Psychiatric Nursing and is a research scholar said any disease has a major impact on the mental health especially on children.

He said parents should allow limited use of social media and mobile phones by children. (KINS)


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