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HEALTH

‘Erase stigma attached with mental health problems’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Even as one in five persons experiences a mental health issue at some point in their lifetime and mental ailments affect people of all ages, in all kinds of jobs and educational levels, there is a great stigma surrounding mental health problems.

Dr Paramjeet Singh Khurana, consultant neuro-psychiatrist and drug de-addiction specialist at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital says here, "When individuals appear to be different, we attach a stigma to them; we do not do it to be cruel, but we simply do not understand their differences. Stigma is a reality for people with a mental health issue and their greatest barrier to a complete and satisfying life."

In a community mental health lecture here last evening, he observed, "Society feels uncomfortable about mental health problems and these are not seen like other problems such as heart disease and cancer. Due to inaccuracies and falsehoods, people have been led to believe that an individual with a mental health issue has a weak character or is potentially dangerous. However, mental health problems only become visible when someone is in a crisis. The majority of the public are unaware of how many people with mental health problems they know and encounter every day."

Blaming the media, especially the movies and television, to a great extent, for projecting a completely distorted image of those with mental health problems, Dr Khurana remarked that most of our views and interpretations of mental health problems have been distorted by media over a period.

"Almost without exception, the mentally ill characters are portrayed as aggressive, dangerous and unpredictable while nearly 70 per cent of the television characters with a mental health issue, are shown to be violent."

He said those physically ill would go to a doctor and once they were better or cured, they would expect to get on with life as usual. However, this was not the case with people who had mental health problems. While everyone had the right to fully participate in their community, the individuals struggling to overcome a mental health issue, often found themselves facing a constant series of rejections and exclusions.

Urging the community leaders to move collectively towards erasing the stigma surrounding mental health problems, Dr Khurana commented that the foremost thing to do was to comprehend the predicament of those with mental health problems and to understand the facts.

"There are times when we all feel depressed, get unreasonably angry or over-excited; we even have periods when we think that everything and everybody is out to get us. For someone with a mental health issue, these feelings do not go away. It should be well understood that no matter how the person develops a mental health issue, there is usually an approach to recovery that will help them get better and lead a productive life. The support of family, friends, colleagues at work places and employers is also critical," he concluded.

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City men, eves register victories
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 14
On the penultimate day of the 58th Punjab State Basketball Championship being held here at Guru Nanak Stadium, the hosts Ludhiana women and men registered victories in their respective semifinal league encounters today.

In the men's section, Baba Lodhiana Academy of Ludhiana while Jalandhar in the women's section too came out triumphant.

In the men's section, Patiala fought valiantly against Baba Lodhiana Academy before going down 78-96. After gaining a 14-point lead at the end of the second quarter, the academy outfit with three senior state players in its rank faced a stiff resistance from their opponents who did not allow them to relax till the long hooter.

In another match (men's section), Ludhiana and Muktsar fought a pitched battle. Eventually, the former managed to scrape past with a narrow margin (85-79).

The first match in the semifinal league (women's section) played between Ludhiana and Amritsar turned out to be a low-scoring affair in which the hosts emerged winner by 30-21.

In the second match, Jalandhar eves recorded an easy 80-50 win over Nawanshahr. Ludhiana too scored a win by a wafer thin one point margin (61-60) against Nawanshahr.

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6 teams to vie for hockey honours
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 14
Indian Airlines, Air India, Namdhari XI, EME-Jalandhar, Sikh Regiment, Delhi, and PSEB, Patiala, will be vying for top honours in the 4th All India Guru Gobind Singh Gold Cup Hockey Tournament .

The tourney is slated to be held here at the Prithipal Singh Astro Turf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University from March 18 to 22.

According to Jagroop Singh Jarkhar, spokesperson of the Ludhiana Sportsmen Welfare Association, the matches will be played on the league cum knock out basis.

Hira Singh Gabria, Punjab cabinet minister, will inaugurate the tournament while Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice Chancellor, PAU will preside over the inaugural function.

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BJS College sports meet from today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 14
The annual sports meet at Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Hospital, Chandigarh road Ludhiana will be organised from March 15 to 17. According to a press statement issued by the college here today, chairman, Baba Jaswant Singh will inaugurate the meet on Thursday at 11 am.

During this three-day meet, students, interns, faculty and staff members will take part in various events such as football, badminton, cricket, volleyball, throwball, table tennis, chess, carrom besides fun games like tug of war, lemon and spoon race, three-legged race, sack race, frog race etc.

Students will also have the opportunity to display their creative skills in fun activities like rangoli making, fresh-flower arrangement, face painting, poster making and mehandi competition, the note added.

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