In India, there is not much conversation about mental health & importance of mental health in INDIA. Regardless of the advancements in healthcare technology in India, people still tend to believe that mental health is a myth. India has one of the highest rates of mental illness, and the WHO has dubbed it “the most depressing country in the world,” but attitudes towards the problem are not making matters better.
The term “mental health illness” refers to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Being mentally sound or in good mental health would entail having a stable mind, confidence, and self-esteem. A mental health issue is a condition that adversely impacts a person’s ability to reason, perceive, and respond.
Different types of mental illnesses exist, and they range in severity and severity levels. There are two categories: mild and severe mental illnesses. Psychosis, which is caused by a chemical imbalance in the body, and neurosis, which is caused by poor attitude learning during the formative or growing years, are two examples of mental health disorders.
Mental Healthcare industry in India: Trends and Outlook
According to statistics, 1 in 5 people experience symptoms of a mental health disorder. 50% of mental health conditions start by the age of 14, and 75% start to manifest by the age of 24. Multiple factors can lead to mental illness. Psychiatric disorders are the result of complicated interactions between the mind, body, and environment. Long-term acute stress, biological factors, drug abuse and overdose, cognitive behaviour such as persistently negative thoughts, low energy, etc., and social issues such as monetary difficulties, breakdowns, isolation, etc. are some of the contributing factors.
In India, society labels those who suffer from mental illness as “lunatics.” This reinforces the patient’s destructive cycle of guilt, suffering, and loneliness. Due to lack of mental healthcare education and skill development in India, families continue to keep those who exhibit visible signs of mental illness hidden from the public view due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Issue is more prevalent among young adults
Young people in India do not seek help for mental health issues due to widespread concerns about a lack of trust, peer pressure, a desire to be independent, a lack of understanding of mental healthcare policies and reforms in India or awareness of mental health-related services. Most of the time, they are unaware that they need assistance and instead place the blame on themselves.
In schools, there should be a focus on mental health. Although the National Adolescent Health Program has made adolescent mental health a priority for service development, school-based mental advancements in healthcare technology in India have largely remained fragmented and limited, and are frequently ignored. One student’s suicide is believed to have been greatly influenced by mental illness.
The fact that there is a severe shortage of medical professionals in this segment, including clinical nurses, counsellors, social workers, and psychologists, demonstrates how little thought has been given to this issue. The World Health Organization estimates that there is a 200–300 percent shortage of mental health professionals in India.
Additionally, most of the population cannot have mental healthcare affordability and accessibility in India as they can’t bear the price of the available mental health services.
Challenges and Opportunities in the India Healthcare Sector
Several factors and causes contribute to these possible reasons, including
For which awareness and knowledge are the primary causes. Words like “mad” and “asylum” are carelessly used. People who are mentally unfit are described in far too many ways that are derogatory and demeaning, and this stigma or taboo, combined with ignorance and lack of awareness, discourages those who are suffering from speaking up and asking for help.
- Lack of health assistance
There are only 43 state-run mental health facilities in the entire nation, which leads to a shortage of healthcare infrastructure and facilities in India. In comparison to the required 11,500 psychiatrists, there are 3800 psychiatrists on hand; 898 clinical psychologists, 17250; 850 psychiatric social workers, 23000; and 1500 psychiatric nurses, 3000. Accordingly, there is only one psychiatrist for every 4 lakh Indians, and only 1,022 college seats are reserved in India for mental health professionals.
- No insurance for those with mental illnesses
When patients are admitted to hospitals with mental illnesses, insurance companies do not offer them medical coverage. This makes it difficult for some people to obtain admission to a reputable hospital. This calls in for a need of public- private partnerships in healthcare in India. A quality treatment is not inexpensive, and getting one without insurance coverage is even more challenging.
With the proper telemedicine and its role in the future of healthcare in India, mental illness can be treated. For psychosis illnesses, taking the proper medication while under the supervision of a qualified professional is crucial. For neurosis illnesses, receiving quality counselling, support, and love from a peer group and family is essential. It is crucial to connect with people or spot these issues early on.