Poet and social activist Sugathakumari inaugurated a community mental health programme of Swami Vivekandana Medical Mission Hospital in Attappady on Monday.
In her address, Ms. Sugathakumari noted that the tribal people in Attappady did not have necessary facilities for mental health treatment. She pointed to the lack of awareness of mental health-related diseases among the tribal people.
A survey conducted in 20 tribal hamlets of Attappady by the Vivekananda Mission found that 75 tribal people were afflicted with mental health problems. None of them had received medical attention so far.
V. Narayanan, medical officer of the hospital, said this was due to the high cost of medicines and lack of facilities.
The widespread use of liquor and drugs among the tribes was a major factor, he said.
Presiding over the inaugural function, president of the Mission V.P.S. Menon said the Mission would provide free treatment to the tribal people.
It will also conduct surveys in other tribal hamlets in Attappady, he said.