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MISSION AND PURPOSE OF ASAMSAYA

If stated in a single line, purpose of Asamsaya Foundation is to address the problems plaguing our society today. Asamsaya.com was inaugurated by the Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Smt P. Sabitha Indra Reddy on Friday, 19th June 2009. Any one can register online in Asamsaya.com portal for courses on problems like Fear and Insecurity About Future, Depression, Managing Stress at Work, Home or School, Concentration Enhancement, Facing Exams Without Anxiety, Dealing With Frustration In Life, Low Self-esteem and Negative Thinking etc.etc.
India in last two decades has made incredible progress on all fronts but this also has introduced multiple social and health issues. The problems like loneliness, depression, drugs & intoxication, inferiority complex, behavioral and mood disorders, suicidal tendencies, juvenile criminality, lack of direction and vision, delinquency, vandalism, fear psychosis, frustration with life, contempt for authority, mindless violence etc. are on the rise, especially amongst the youth.
Human relationships are breaking down. Family institution is endangered by increasing pace of life. Generation gap is widening like it has never done in last one thousand years. For every five weddings registered in Mumbai and Thane since 2002, family courts have received two applications for divorce.
After 6 suicides and 300 suicide attempts before Board examinations in Delhi area in 2007, a survey was conducted in the capital’s schools under the ‘School Mental Health Programme’ and it found that nearly 70 percent of students were suffering from acute stress and anxiety. Nearly one-third were reporting sleep disturbances while one sixth were using over-the-counter medications for headaches.

Let us have a further look at the following facts:

• World Bank has warned that Neuropsychiatric disorders are an important emerging public health problem for developing market economies. Average working hours have increased by 28% in last one decade in India.

• The average age of onset of a first depressive episode is steadily decreasing—it is now mid-20s whereas it once was mid-30s.

• By 2020, depression is expected to become the 2nd largest illness in the world. India has reported prevalence rate of 31.2 per 1000. Unreported cases are many more. In a study 3 years ago by Trivendrum Medical College, it was found that 22.4% of school going girls and 12.8% of school going boys have depression of various grades in kerala.

• In India, currently there are 4 lakh attempts to commit suicide every year out of which 1.2 lakh succeed in ending their lives.

• Over 71% of suicides in India are by persons below the age of 44. As per former Union Health Minister Mr Ramadoss, 60% of the deaths caused by suicide can be prevented with proper counselling. Suicide rates affecting young people have increased to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries of the world.

• Mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.

• Over 71% of suicides in India are by persons below the age of 44.

• Most countries allocate less than 2% of their health budget to mental health.

There is lot of work that needs to be done in the area of couseling and lending a helping hand to those in distress but unfortunately very little help is available. A report was published in Hyderabad newspapapers on February 12, 2009, which stated that in India, 15-20 crore people suffer from some sort of mental illness, the commonest being dpression and anxiety syndrome, stress and psychosomatic disorders. To take care of these 15 crore cases, the country has only 3300 psychiatrists, out of which 3000 are in the four metros. Union health ministry estimates that India actually needs 32,000 psychiatrists and has finalised the revised National Mental Health Programme (NMHP).
At a cost of Rs.400 crores, Union health ministry has proposed upgradation of 11 existing mental health hospitals, increase of atleast 44 post –graduate seats in psychiatry, 176 Mphil seats in clinical psychology and 220 seats for psychiatric nursing each year. This simply implies that a lot needs to be done in the area of mental wellbeing in our country.
To conclude, issues facing mankind today like unsustainable pace of life, abused and neglected upbringing, relationship breakups, experiences of failure or loss, stress at work,home or school, oversensitiveness and pessimism, Late working hours and erratic sleep patterns, Low self-esteem and Negative Thinking, Information overload, fear and insecurity about future, Unrealistic, fanciful expectations from life etc. need to be addressed urgently.
Along with India’s progress in coming years, these problems are also expected to grow exponentially. Therefore Asamsaya Foundation, in collaboration with ISKCON, is conducting regular courses to address various social and personal issues which are of national importance in India’s continued growth.

 
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