Vision for how you live

NAGI, B.S. & Singh Ravendra (Council for Social Development, 
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) 

The information on different indicators pertaining to survival of children in the age category of 12-23 months was gathered from 957 SC, 899 ST, 1590 other-caste mothers in 15 districts of 9 States. The children of this category should have received all the doses of all the four vaccines, namely, BGC, Polio, DPT and Measles. The results of the gathered information reveal that only 28 percent ST children had received complete doses of all the vaccines, whereas the percentages for SC, OBC and other castes is 47.7, 49.2 and 52.7 respectively. This is quite a disheartening state of affairs. Significant difference was found among male and female children on the immunizational status. The average of male children who were completely immunized was higher as compared to female children. The number of living children was inversely correlated with the complete immunizational status, whereas the economic status of the family was positively correlated with complete immunizational status. The results of other indicators were also alarming.

PA REEK, Udai (Indian Institute of Health Management Research) 

The interest in positive aspects of health behaviour, in the form of coping with illness and thriving, is increasing. Journal of Social Issues recently published a special number on "Thriving", the process of "going beyond survival and recovery from a stress or illness" by an individual or a community, to thrive. There is enough evidence in the literature to show that internal locus of control (or internality) is an important variable, and that high internals manifest more health-selected activity and cope better with illness than the externals. They also show better thriving. Similarly, optimism has been found to be important in coping and thriving. These two seem to be key variables in coping and thriving. It is hypothesised that inclusion of these variables may improve the Health Behaviour Model (HBM). A study by the author showed that the concept of internality and externality needs review for developing countries. A study of locus of control and health (N=l 15) showed significant positive correlation between internality and self-reported recovery. The construct, based on which Lochi (Locus of Control in Health Inventory) was constructed, showed two types of internality (individual and collective), and four types of externality (Luck, Fate, God and Doctor). Factor analysis of Lochi scores confirmed this. There is a need to emphasis and strengthen collective internality in developing countries to improve coping and thriving.

PONNUSWAMI, S. (Daulat Ram College) 

Historical survey of mental health movement in India has shown growing trends both in quantity and quality. Yet one can discern an uneasy trend on the part of the community as a parallel negative puller. On acceptance of the concept of mental illness is the narrow blinkered view in the form of "stigma". The human burden experienced in living with mental illness are entwined particularly with poverty, illiteracy and egoism of social status. These make out a strong case for community based mental health programmes at micro level organizations, wherein small communities assume responsibility for.the spread of mental health awareness. The times through 1920 and Dr. Hill, 1938 and Nehru committee, 1946 and Bhore committee 1983 and National Health policy - all these have witnessed much improvements in the care of mentally ill. Added to these efforts were knowledge explorations in the areas of pharmacology, neurology etc. which have yielded immense symptom relief for the patients. However, the efforts have not reduced the pain, suffering and agony of all the ill and their families. Community based organizations can perhaps meet the challenge of the millennium towards creating more awareness, more acceptance and more widespread availability of knowledge in the areas of prevention and support systems. The post independent India has witnessed not only changes in policies, legal changes and improved perspectives but very innovative approaches have been introduced. From the asylum days, India has progressed towards establishment of GHPU, PHC, District level care mental hospitals, private agencies and nursing homes delivering mental health care. Yet they seem inadequate. Hence models will have to be evolved to deal more with preventive aspects so as to reduce the burden on the mental health care and treatment facilities. However, creation of awareness and acceptance should be ensured. The university as a community can involve a micro model as its contribution towards the millennium 2000 A.D. Such a model would provide impetus to prevention programmes by emphasizing on awareness, training of volunteers in areas of mental health. It has to be human effort towards a human cause based on the spirit of giving ourselves to the society.

PRADHAN, R.K. (Defence Institute of Psychological Research) 

Stress does not lead directly to illness. There is a proposition that we perceive as we are, not as things are. Mainly two factors intervene in the feeling of stress and illness. How the person interprets the event and how (s)he copes with it. Coping involves a person's active and adaptive efforts to manage demands that (s)he feels are stressful. Disease may cause personality changes: some personality traits may cause unhealthy habits (such as smoking) which cause disease. Thus illness and personality may affect each other in a complex feed back loop. Health and well being seem to depend on the right combination of primary control (trying to change the stressful situation) and secondary control (learning to accept the stressful situation). This paper examines psychological well being in relation to stress and personality.

(SAAP-Delhi Con.-1999)
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