Arthur Rd jail to help in­mates fight de­pres­sion and ad­dic­tion

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Megha Sood

MUM­BAI: Se­vere de­pres­sion, drug ad­dic­tion with­drawal, anx­i­ety and sleep dis­or­ders — a sur­vey of in­mates at Mum­bai’s Arthur Road jail found that at least 300 of them were strug­gling to cope with a range of men­tal ill­ness is­sues.

Jail au­thor­i­ties — who con­ducted the sur­vey after un­der­trial Shamshid­din Shaikh hanged him­self in­side his prison cell last year — have de­cided to con­duct weekly psy­chi­atric treat­ment ses­sions to help the in­mates.

The sur­vey, con­ducted by doc­tors, found more than 200 of the jail’s 3,200 in­mates were suf­fer­ing from se­vere de­pres­sion, while an­other 100 of them were strug­gling with with­drawal sys­tems after giv­ing up years of drug abuse.

In all, at least 300 un­der­tri­als were con­sum­ing sleep­ing pills and anti-de­pres­sants pre­scribed to them by doc­tors at JJ Hos­pi­tal, dur­ing rou­tine check-ups.

The sur­vey was con­ducted by doc­tors and the Divyaj foun­da­tion, an NGO work­ing for pris­oner well-be­ing.

They ex­am­ined in­mates on Thurs­day and be­gan psy­chi­atric treat­ment ses­sions.

“We re­alised de­pres­sion was a com­mon prob­lem, so we as­signed ed­u­cated and older in­mates to com­mu­ni­cate with the newer ones to calm them down if they dis­played symp­toms ,” said a jail of­fi­cial.

JAIL AU­THOR­I­TIES FOUND AT LEAST 300 IN­MATES SUF­FER­ING FROM DE­PRES­SION, ANX­I­ETY IS­SUES AND SLEEP DIS­OR­DERS

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