Child rights panel to frame mental health policy for Goa

first_imgPANAJI: Armed with a mandate from the Central Commission for Protection of Child Rights(CCPCR), the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) has embarked on a serious exercise to draft a mental health policy for children in the State.The groundwork began earlier this week at the initiative of the GSCPCR, which got key stakeholders to discuss various aspects of the proposed policy. Sources close to GSCPCR chairperson Sushma Kirtani said the policy is expected to be completed in two years.According to representatives of the Commission, child abuse as well as mental problems related to child abuse, tobacco consumption, substance consumption, suicidal tendencies, and schizophrenia have been on the rise in Goa as reported from time to time by various child rights groups.The policy would seek to put a mechanism in place to identify the problems faced by children in educational institutions, special schools, and children identified as out of school (in 2016-17, the State had identified 463 out-of-school children, most of whom were children of migrant workers coming from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha and Bihar, according to an exercise done under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan).The policy will cover all children facing mental disorders, including those with substance abuse, disability-related mental disorders, disorders related to physical or sexual violence, and children in prisons rehabilitated in State children’s homes.The strategy would be to formulate guidelines forimplementation as well.The stakeholders discussed under-reporting of cases due to the stigma attached, especially in case of the girl child, as a factor that needs course correction through education and awareness. The role of media as a stakeholder in education and awareness generation, and in prevention of suicides, would be part of what could be the first such policy in a State.last_img

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