Jaipur: Expressing concern over cases where psychiatric patients are branded as "possessed by spirits," Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva on Saturday called for positive change in attitudes towards people facing such ailments.
There still are cases where psychiatric patients are branded by people as "possessed by spirits, and being treated to cruel processes and even being killed in our rural areas," she said at the second international annual conference of Neurological Surgeon`s Society of India here.
The social stigma attached to mental ailments prevents patients from coming forward to seek treatment.
"We, as a society, need to combat social attitudes to mental ailments. Awareness of the ailments and their causes need to be widely disseminated," she said.
Alva noted that most medicines and procedures are expensive, thus out of the reach of the common people and called for provision of financial and medical resources to address this.
250 delegates from India and abroad were participating in the conference, which includes hands-on workshops on important issues in the field, Organising Chairman of the society Dr R S Mittal said.