- Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. But, deteriorating mental health is a severe issue in the country.
- President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Our society has to fight this culture of stigma. We need to talk about mental health issues and treat ailments such as depression and stress as diseases that can be cured – not as guilty secrets to be pushed under the carpet. 10 per cent of Indians have one or more mental health problem. A number larger than the entire population of Japan.
Awareness regarding the mental health is the need of the hour. Today, President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the 22nd convocation of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru. He said, Mental health is particularly a problem among the young, in the prime of their life; among the elderly; and among those in urban areas. In India, all three segments are growing.”
Dr Om Prakash Singh, Associate Professor, institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) said, “It is a grave concern in the urban metros. Despite, most of the psychiatrists are based there. There is a lack of awareness and inadequate education. Homeless and mentally challenged people are mostly found in the urban areas. Despite we have resources; people cannot reach out due to ignorance. There is also stigma attached to it. As mental health is a neglected subject.”
As per Kovind, “Another major gap we have to address is that of mental health professionals. I am told there are just about 5,000 psychiatrists and less than 2,000 clinical psychologists in our country. These numbers are very small.”
Dr Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist and youth-wing president, of Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Maharashtra Chapter said, “Official figures say that currently, around 6 crore people in India, are suffering from depression. At least, 10 per cent of the population suffers from depression. Majority of them do not get treated and their quality of life gets affected.”
Mumbai-based clinical psychologist Arti Shroff said, “There is definitely a dearth of mental health professionals in India, it is often seen that individuals needing mental health care don’t necessarily have easy access to mental health professions. Due the shortage of credible mental health professionals, individuals who need mental health care tend to fall into the hands of pseudo psychologists who lack relevant qualifications, astrologers, priests, and tarot readers. It is high time the government takes initiative to create more jobs in schools, hospitals, and other organisations so that individuals who need proper treatment can be directed to the right person i.e. a psychologist with appropriate qualifications.”
Recently, Anupriya Patel, the Minister Of State In The Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare too stated that, Nearly 1 in 40 and 1 in 20 person suffer from past and current depression, respectively and nearly 50 per cent of persons with major depressive disorders reported difficulties in carrying out their daily activities.