Depression: A whopping 14,000 farmers in Maharashtra treated for mental illness

To curb suicide cases in the state, and to help the farmers to stand on their own feet, the Maharashtra government had launched a project — Prerana. The project, launched in 2015, has been implemented in 14 districts

Maharashtra: 29,000 farmers treated for depression in two years, says Deepak Sawant
Image use for representational purposes only

In the last four years, as many as 14000 farmers from drought-hit areas of Maharashtra are given mental health treatment. 

Over 90,000 farmers, suffering from mental stress and mental illness were sent for counseling. 

The Maharashtra state government, in 2015, had launched a project — Prerana, to boost the morale of the farmers.

As of now, the project is ongoing in 14 districts of Vidarbha, and Marathwada

Farmers in Maharashtra’s drought-affected areas are reeling under severe mental stress and depression. Due to the drought, the farmers have suffered a massive crop loss. Debt, family and social issues, and the refusal of the loan from banks are the major contributory factor behind the farmer suicide.

To curb the suicide cases in the state, and to help the farmers to stand on their own feet, the Maharashtra government had launched a project — Prerana, to reach out to the farmers.

According to the state government 

14,000 farmers have been given mental health treatment 

Till December 2018, a whopping 90,000 farmers have been counseled 

While speaking to the press, Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra’s Health Minister, stated, “Of the total 14000, those who received treatment personally, as many as 8000 were given treatment in the hospital, while the rest 6,000 were subjected to group counseling. The state government had received close to 25,000 distress calls on the helpline number.”

Health workers visit door-to-door to identify the patients suffering from mental stress and illness, then the treatment starts.

“The campaign is monitored by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS). After evaluation, the patients are given treatment under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Scheme. Under the project, patients with hypertension, diabetes, heart attack, and paralysis were also treated,” added the minister.

In the first phase, in the current year, the Asha workers have conducted a door-to-door survey in over 42 lakh houses.