Pointing out that mentally challenged people were wrongly perceived to be a burden to the society, Corporation Commissioner S. AneeshSekhar said they could instead be enabled to contribute to the society with right support system, involving their families, community, government and non-governmental organisations. Speaking at a community meet for persons with mental illness, organised by M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of its partnering non-governmental organisation Andheri-Hilfe Bonn here on Friday, he said bringing the mentally challenged persons to the mainstream must be an important part of the support system. “We cannot keep them just inside special schools and other such exclusive spaces.
It is important to bring them to mingle with the mainstream society,” he added. Lauding the event organised on Friday in which mentally challenged people being treated and rehabilitated as part of the organisation’s Community Mental Health Project (CMHP) were brought to Rajaji Park for interaction with the public, Mr. AneeshSekhar said the Corporation would be happy to support such events. C. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer, Mental Health Programme - Tamil Nadu, in his speech, pointed to the alarming numbers revealed by a recent mental health survey, which showed that nearly 70 lakh people in Tamil Nadu had some form of mental problem. “Though the State is at the forefront in the country when it comes to care for mental illness, the number of doctors available is grossly inadequate. - Nyooz