Mental Health In India


India is the house of the highest population and progress is still a very big hurdle on trot of ultra-conservativeness attached to a belief system by snatching away the freedom to express the inner struggles of any humankind and the society has built a wall of shame that has led to the downfall of the development on the elaborate impacted mental illnesses.

Mental health has been a trend setter as well as bones of contention by nitpicking progressive policy interventions through active involvement to preach the importance of an unbalanced emotional lifestyle. However, according to WHO –globally, the total number of people with depression was approximated to exceed 300 million in 2015. And based on The National Mental Survey 2015-2016, it was publicized that 1 in 20 Indians suffer from depression. 

It is sad to know that mental illnesses are still attached to a stigma due to lack of education, awareness, ignorance, pressure, social and cultural beliefs, which has failed to spotlight the importance of mental health as a whole.

 In our country, a recent study analysed people’s attitude towards mental health and few of them were probed to enumerate a person with mental illness, 56% said someone who talks to themselves; 9% said depressed; 15% called them retards; 20% called them crazy/stupid/mad. 

With all the inadequate conception there came a rise in disguises and people clouded their mind with all possible negative assumptions which turned them down to be apathy by failing to understand and unable to listen to people suffering from depression, by being ignorant to the sufferer and invalidating their emotional disturbances this sparks Log Kya Kahenge syndrome –the fear of being judged and abandoned.

To reduce the ignominy, things are changing slowly and positively because of many social media outlets. The somber scoop is that the ones being aware and seeking help finds the treatment process to be way too expensive. The government needs to sensitize about this critical issue to nationwide but the distressed permanence is that it is still laid back to provide better services. Being economically deprived country the efforts taken by the government is not serviceable. Here is an overview of the government’s total expenditure on mental health programmes.

  • The funds spent towards the National Mental Health programme (NMPH) in 2018 = 5 crore (Population of India > 1.3 billion).  
  • Lifetime Prevalence of mental health disorders in India: 9.54% (That’s almost one is Every TEN people)
  • The number of public-funded long-stay facilities in India: NIL and from India’s total health budget, mental health budget allocation <1%.  

Despite this, one of the most disadvantageous factors is the accessibility to find mental health professionals. According to Radhika Bapat, one of the few internationally recognized Indian psychologists said that – every 3,25,000 Indians have 1psychiatrist (psychiatrists per 1,00,000 people in India: 0.29 and psychologists per 1,00,000 people in India: 0.07) and every 3,02,32,558 have 1 psychiatrist hospital and the total mental health expenditure per person in India is Rs. 4.

It is necessary to normalise depression and other mental health illnesses. One of the impactful step could be creating an inclusive environment by putting through the grind about the signs and symptoms. We need many communities and NGOs to organise events to educate students to drum into this. The education board has to make it compulsory for schools and colleges to have a counselling cell.

The exposure to mental health is growing sluggishly and people are becoming aware of their mental well-being. By timely interventions to help anyone to recognise psychological distress and advocating reasons and causes about the distress, centralising the professional help by facilitating assistance to seek help concerning various programmes by providing the mental health profession – we can try to overcome the discrimination to mental health literacy. 

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