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Bhubaneswar, May 25: Experts in psychiatry have underlined the need to educate the people about schizophrenia, a mental illness that affects around 24 million people across the world, and break down myths and misconceptions surrounding the condition through spread of awareness.
Roughly one out of every 300 people get affected by schizophrenia which often causes severe disruption in an individual’s personal and social life impacting the person’s ability to function independently.
The subject was discussed at a programme jointly organised by the Department of Psychiatry of Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here and the Odisha branch of Indian Psychiatric Society on Wednesday coinciding with World Schizophrenia Day. The theme for the day this year is ‘Celebrating the Power of Community Kindness.”
“It is necessary to spread awareness about the symptoms, causes and available treatment for schizophrenia patients and reduce the stigma and discrimination that individuals encounter because of their illness,” Prof. Surjeet Sahoo, Head of the Department of Psychiatry in the hospital, said.
People suffering from such an illness need support, appropriate care and treatment which can help them lead fulfilling and happy lives, he said.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. Sanghamitra Mishra, Dean of IMS and SUM Hospital, said the family members and society at large had a huge role to play in helping people suffering from the illness to live a healthy and normal life.
Prof. Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said it had been found that mostly highly educated people were suffering from such mental conditions. It was necessary to dispel the misconceptions about this ailment, he said.
Prof. Subhendu Narayan Mishra, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, stressed the need for proper treatment of the patient.
Dr. Jitendriya Biswal, Dr. Rakesh Mohanty, Dr. Snehangshu Dey, Dr. Amiya Krushna Sahu, Dr. Soumya Ranjan Dash, Dr. Hiranmay Mohapatra, all from the Department of Psychiatry, Psychologist Ms. Manish Patnaik and post-graduate students also shared their views. Prof. Lagnajit Dash, Associate Professor, proposed the vote of thanks.

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