Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
Over 8.5 million people received psychological treatment in 2016 in Turkey, which has a population of nearly 80 million, according to statistics released by the Health Ministry.
The ministry said the number increased by 740,602 in one year, reaching 8,656,513, which corresponds to over 10 percent of the country’s population.
“In 2015, a total of 7,915,911 people received treatment in the areas of psychological health and disease. The number reached 8,656,513 in 2016 with an increase of 740,602 compared to 2015,” the ministry stated, responding to a parliamentary question by independent Ankara
deputy Aylin Nazlıaka.
It also said the number was 3,238,430 in the first four months of 2017, and noted that the use of antidepressants increased by 25.6 percent between 2011 and 2016.
Speaking about the figures, Nazlıaka said the only way to solve the issue of the increasing number of people seeking psychological treatment is by “making democracy function in a healthy way with all its rules and institutions.”
“According to the Health Ministry data, one out of every eight people in our country has applied to a hospital for mental and neurological disorders. It’s clear that this number is much higher when we also consider those who don’t go see to a doctor due to social pressures, biases and other factors,” she said.
“The solution is to make democracy function healthily with all its rules and institutions,” Nazlıaka added.
“The solution is to remove the common perception and belief that the justice system is not objective and fair. The solution is getting rid of the pressure on people who have opposing views and thoughts. The solution is creating a Turkey whose people are hopeful about today and tomorrow, that produces [opportunity] and that has equality of opportunity. The solution is the normalization of Turkey by removing problems such as terror and unemployment,” she also said.