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Prof NN Wig Oration 2021: ‘About 50 per cent of all mental disorders start before the age of 14’

Delivering the Prof NN Wig Oration, PGIMER Psychiatry Dept Head Dr Savita Malhotra said intervention in childhood can prevent certain psychiatric disorders.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: September 17, 2021 11:51:07 pm
Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh. (File)

PGIMER Chandigarh has been hosting the Professor NN Wig Oration since 2018, in memory of Prof Narendra Nath Wig, Founder of the Department of Psychiatry at the institute.

This year’s oration was delivered by Dr Savita Malhotra, former dean, professor, and head of the department of psychiatry, PGI, on, ‘Child Mental Health: The Universe of Mental Health!’.

Professor Malhotra emphasised that experiences of childhood in early years and adverse events, such as poverty, abuse, deprivation, loss, bereavement, conflict, trauma, have a deep-rooted influence on the development of personality and mental health.

“About 50 per cent of all mental disorders start before the age of 14 and 75 per cent before the age of 25,” said the doctor, adding that early diagnosis and intervention in childhood can prevent certain psychiatric disorders or can lead to healthier development.

Many international organizations — like WHO, UNICEF — propose policies and programmes for infants and children to improve mental health and achieve primary prevention. “Child mental health represents the universe of mental health and should be accorded highest priority in our mental health planning,” summed up Professor Malhotra.

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