24 X 7 Helpline For Mental Health Emergencies


Dr. K.R. Sridhar


Psychiatrist &

Medical Director,

Sridhar Nursing Home

Malnad De-addiction Centre,

Rajendra Nagar, Shimoga

Kshema Trust (R) Shimoga is a holistic free counselling centre founded by the author in 2000 millennium along with five like minded doctors and social workers. It has a forum by name ‘Aashaya’ to Counsel Alcoholics and HIV clientele. ‘Aashaya’ conducts group meetings every Saturday evening and the meeting lasts for about 2 to 2½ hrs.  The structure of the group is made up of people who have remained abstinent, their families including children and HIV positive clientele. The whole group gets involved in the discussion. It is a free association technique wherein even children express their views and the behavior of their father when he consumes alcohol and their feelings. Unlike an ‘Alcoholic Anonymous’ the aim of the group meeting is to give an insight into the disastrous effects of alcoholism in the whole family as a unit.

An alcoholic coming home drunk and exhibiting abnormal behavior is very usual. But some of the ghostly events that can occur during intoxication is quite interesting one clientele was a college professor. He had a son and a daughter. Daughter was about 10 years and son 7 years. One night at about 8O’ clock mother had gone to neighbor’s house to attend a pooja ceremony leaving her kids at home. The father came home drunk and asked the daughter to serve him meal. As the daughter was studying, she did not hear father’s words. Immediately father got angry on his daughter. He took a rope, which was nearby and tied it to her neck and wanted to hang her.  Seeing this boy got scared and immediately ran to his mother to tell this.  The moment mother came to know this she came running and loosened the knot and saved her daughter. When she asked her husband next morning about the event he denied the act.

In another meeting father had come with his wife and two teenage children. When asked to tell their opinion about the alcoholic father, the girl said “Sir at times, I used to tell my mother let us consume some poison and die leaving the father to keep on drinking”. The son was telling why somebody can’t kill his father so that they can live happily.

When asked, how both children felt now after their father became abstinent since 6 months, the reply was “Sir we salute Kshema”.  The mother remarked, “Sir, now we dine together with smiles and jokes”. There was a smile on the father’s face too. The children remarked further, sir we are now studying well and we hope to do well in the examination.

The above incidents only show how dangerous Alcoholism is and how it can ruin the primary societal unit which is the family. In my view the alcoholics should be made to recognize this and the clientele should be encouraged to have introspection that may go a long way in bringing cheers to the abstinent Alcoholic, his family and the society at large.

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