Special Focus on Mental Health

Special Focus on Mental HealthSpecial Focus on Mental Health

An official at the health ministry said mental health care will be given special attention in the health reform package. Dr. Ahmad Hajebi, director, health office, said “this will revolutionize mental and social care in the country,” ISNA reports.

Hajebi said as a first step, two mental and social health professionals will be added to the primary care system. He pointed out that the healthcare packages “are now ready to provide service” and noted that the services are primarily aimed towards assessment and thus, prevention of mental disorders. ‘’By early diagnosis and intervention, costs and complications can be promptly reduced,’’ Hajebi said.

He said it’s only natural that the main focus would be on common disorders such as depression and anxiety - since according to the latest figures, the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders is 12.7% and 15.6% respectively among the age group 15 - 64, a figure relatively high. Hajebi also said the disorders are in particular higher among women.

 Acute Disorders

The official further said acute disorders, even if the prevalence rate is low, are also covered in the package. ‘’ We have tried to address all these issues to the best of our ability.’’

Under the package, the patient will be first referred to a mental health worker and then if needed, will be referred to an expert or psychologist.

Hajebi concluded that the health ministry’s activities are aimed largely at “social health” and not necessarily social maladies- although they are interrelated. ‘’Social problems involve more than one institute to tackle; of course this does not mean we will forsake the health aspect of social problems, but generally we are concerned with attaining social well-being for its own sake.’’