What is MHMR?
Mental Retardation, the second part of this acronym, stands for the state of a person when he does not have the same mental capability as other people. Generally, he may have difficulties making decisions for himself, doing daily chores by himself, and participating in activities designed for other people of his age. This illness is usually congenital; the children with mental retardation learn and develop slower than other children. They need help with their daily activities, such as eating, dressing, speaking and toilet habits, for a longer time than other children of their age. They also require special education that addresses their special needs and helps them blossom in their own way. People with mental retardation are in no way different, they are simply deficit in certain functions, learning which might take a longer time for them. They are not meant to be isolated from the mainstream society.
Frequency of Mental Retardation
Mental Retardation is not an anomaly. According to a survey carried out by the U.S. Department of Education in 2002, the rate of mental illness in the country is from 3-5%, with almost 613,000 children affected with various forms of mental retardation. Mental health services in the country are therefore always upgraded with the latest techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
Diagnosis- MHMR is diagnosed by specialist doctors by evaluating the child’s IQ, and whether it is adequate enough for his age, and secondly, whether he can perform the independent functions such as eating, understanding commands and performing them, interacting with his family and peers.
Treatment- Mental health services in the country not only diagnose MHMR, but also deal with recognizing the inner strengths and talents of the person, and providing the patient with educational support, behavioral counseling, and helping him learn to do his own chores himself. The treatment for mental retardation requires infinite patience, and specially trained doctors who understand the plight of the children affected with mental retardation. There are special schools for mentally disabled children, and the mental health treatment gradually helps the child to deal with the real world.
Organizations for MHMR- There are several reputed organizations in the country dealing with MHMR and offering mental health services. They offer counseling, run schools which teach life skills to children and adults with mental disabilities. Directories of the major hospitals in the district will have names and addresses of mental health services organizations.