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States, UTs asked to hold screening sessions in schools, colleges for mental health, cancer

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Union ministry has advised states and Union Territories to hold sessions in school and college campuses for mental and like cancer, and blood pressure at regular intervals.

The aim is to ensure early diagnosis of these for their treatment on time.

In a letter to principal secretaries in states and UTs, a senior ministry sought implementation of measures like ensuring tobacco free campus, restricting use of unhealthy diet including sugar sweetened beverages and in canteens and establishing centres on mental health condition and tobacco cessation.

The also advised promoting physical activity and yoga in the campus and creating an enabling environment to mitigate air pollution.

"Investment in risk behaviour prevention and health promotion among youth are the most cost-effective ways to improve health outcomes. Education institutions can play a critical role in these areas," the letter stated.

The letter mentions that majority of risk behaviour that impacts health takes shape during young The prevalence of common mental morbidity including in the group of 18-29 years is around 9 per cent as per National MentalHealth survey.

It is also estimated that nearly 12 per cent of people in the group 15-24 years use and around 5 per cent of individuals in the age group of 15-29 years are either obese or over-weight.

"You will appreciate relatively small interventions focused on youth will pay high dividends in creating a healthy and empowered society," the letter stated.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 19 2019. 12:30 IST