Nearly 10 percent of Turks applied for psychiatric care in three years - ministry

Nearly 8 million of the 82 million people living in Turkey have applied for treatment at mental health clinics in the last three years, Duvar news site quoted Health Minister Fahrettin Koca as saying. 

Some 69 percent of people who reached out for mental health care were women, the minister said in a response to a parliamentary question submitted by İrfan Kaplan, a member of parliament for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

“It is necessary to map out about depression and suicides in Turkey increasing as a result of unemployment and economic crisis, and to rapidly take the necessary measures,” Kaplan said.  

Some 17 percent of Turks have mental health problems, 3.2 million people suffer depression, and the number of antidepressants consumed has increased by 56 percent in five years, Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the government’s far-right junior coalition partner, said in a parliamentary bill on mental health last year. 

An increasing number of people in Turkey are suffering from anxiety due to the political atmosphere, unemployment, migration and the economic downturn, experts say.