Institute of Mental Health reaches out to families who lost loved ones to Covid

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Srinagar Apr 14: Under a ‘Kath Bath’ programme, an initiative of The Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) of GMC Srinagar to meet the families who lost their loved ones to Covid-19, the department has reached out to four families in Srinagar.

Dr Arshid Hussain, Professor of Psychiatry at GMC Srinagar told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that under this initiative of Kath Bath they have reached out to four families in Srinagar in the initial stage as of now.

One of the families is from downtown Srinagar. The husband and wife both work as government employees and days after they re-joined their offices after the first wave of Covid-19 subsided, the wife developed symptoms and was tested positive. She isolated herself but soon after her mother-in-law and father-in-law developed symptoms. Both of them died of Covid related complications. Their death left the daughter-in-law feeling guilty that she was responsible for their deaths, Dr Hussain informed.

Another family, also from downtown, lost their grandfather in the first Covid wave. Their grandfather was a prominent person in the area who had helped all in his locality but nobody was allowed to offer his funeral prayers due to Covid restrictions, Dr Hussain said.

The family went through a lot of grief and regret that despite their grandfather having done good for all, nobody come to attend his funeral and they, too, couldn’t give him the kind of farewell that he deserved.

“So, they were having stigma-related issues and two members of the family were having post-traumatic symptoms, as they were traumatised by the event,” Dr Hussain said.

A family in Lal Bazaar area and another in Sonwar were fine and they were all ok, Dr Hussain said, adding that due to Ramadan, most of the people to whom they reached out said that they should visit after Eid.

“Some are even ready to come to SMHS for counselling. We have fixed a day in a week for it and one room has been kept available at SMHS so that all affected people themselves come to the hospital instead of us having to visit their residence,” Dr Hussain said.

Officials said that under this initiative a team consisting of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a counsellor and a social worker are reaching out to families who have lost their loved ones to Covid-19.

“We are reaching out to families to motivate them to come forward and if they need, they can avail counselling besides psychiatric services,” Dr Hussain said