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Tackling Mental Health in India

Author: Ziffytech Healthcare
by Ziffytech Healthcare
Posted: Jan 27, 2020

The World Health Organization defines mental health as a health issue associated with thoughts, emotions, behavior, and relationship with others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 7.5% of the population in India suffers from mental health problems. India accounts for 15% of the global mental, neurological, and substance addiction problems. 18 crore Indians suffer from some sort of mental health illness (depression, stress, and suicide) but the governmental allocation is very poor.

There is a huge treatment gap, defined by the cases of mental health and the number of patients getting treated. According to WHO estimates by 20% of Indians will suffer from mental health problems by 2020.

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The lack of awareness when it comes to our mental health. There is a huge stigma associated with mental health accompanies with prejudices and fears. Patients are often in denial and unwilling to ask for health. Though mental disorders can be cured or controlled, most people choose not to seek help and continue to suffer in silence. An awareness campaign needs to launch against the stigmas attached to mental health and eliminate them.

Common mental disorders in India are: –

  • Depression – According to WHO data 57 million in India suffer from depression. Common symptoms of depression are hopeless outlook, loss of interest, increased lethargy and problems sleeping, anxiety, and change in appetite and weight. Depression can affect performance both in school and work. Suicidal thoughts are common with the disorder.
  • Bipolar mental disorders is a common mental disorder accounting for 0.3% of illness in the country. Sudden mood changes, increased activity, and decreased need for sleep are some typical signs of bipolar mental disorder.
  • Anxiety disorder is a prevalent disorder according to estimates 1 in every 4 Indians are affected by the disorder. Increased heart rate, feeling nervous, restless or tense are some classical signs of the disease.
  • Schizophrenia affects one in every 1000 persons in India. It is a condition that affects more women than men. A person with the condition sees things that do not exist.

Research indicates there is a strong link between poverty and mental illness. Common mental disorders are twice as frequent in poorer sections of society. This coupled with inadequate health infrastructure and social services, mental health problems often go untreated and undiagnosed in India.

The statistics in corporate India are just as worrying burnouts related to chronic workplace stress have become common. Indians are working harder and longer hours. Organizations are understanding productivity and employee engagement are all linked to mental health. Many organizations in the country are recognizing the impact of mental health on productivity and are investing in mental healthcare programs including insurance that covers mental health.

In 2017 the government amended the Mental Health Care act. The new act ensures certain rights to the mentally ill. These rights include affordable health care, the right to provide informed consent with the power to take decisions, and the right to confidentiality and to live within the community. The act ensures Insurance carriers make provision for mental health just like physical health. Provisions such as the criminalization of discrimination and protection against radical procedures such as shock therapy are welcome provision.

As individuals, we must remember to take care of our own mental health. Talking about your feeling, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, maintaining touch with family and loved ones are ways to improve your mental health. You must remember to ask for help when you feel overwhelmed or unhappy.

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Author: Ziffytech Healthcare

Ziffytech Healthcare

Member since: Jan 15, 2020
Published articles: 17

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