STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 11 October
 To create awareness about regular mental health check up camps for geriatric population, Department of Psychiatry, University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) and Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, observed Mental Health Awareness week from 4 to 11 October in the Capital.
 The programme was organised at the Department of  Psychiatry by Professor and Head, Dr MS Bhatia, assistant professor and Dr Shruti Srivastava.
 The doctors emphasised that as the elder abuse and neglect has become a major public health concern in our society, timely intervention by the mental health professionals can provide relief to the older adults in their mental health problems.
 As a part of mental health awareness programme, a panel discussion was also organised for doctors on Co-morbid Depression on 10th October. Several kind of mental health problems have become common in elderlies including depression, alcohol and other substance abuse, somatisation, insomnia and other sleep related disorders and dementia in elderly population.
 The programme comprised of a series of public lectures under the theme of  ‘Older Adults’ and public lecture on ‘Mental Health problems in Elderly.’
 According to Dr Bhatia, in India, 15 percent of our population will be over 65 years by the year 2015. By the year 2050, the number of elderly people would rise to 324 million.
 He added that as there are limited geriatric health care facilities in our country, we need to create public awareness about the mental health problems that are now common in elderlies so that it can be cured timely.