Do we really care about Mental Health?

India spends the equivalent of less than a cent per mental health patient annually.

United Nations Happiness Survey 2020

Amid growing concerns about the global spread of COVID-19, India and the United States recently reached an agreement to help each other in the area of mental health. That may sound good, but the intent of the Indian government looks suspect as it spends just 33 paisa, or less than 1 U.S. cent, on a mental health sufferer in a whole year.

The WHO also underlines that “mental health and well-being are fundamental to quality of life, enabling people to experience life as meaningful, become creative and active citizens.”

Over 90 million Indians, or 7.5 percent of the country’s population of 1.3 billion, suffer from some form of mental disorder, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

The findings of a countrywide 2015-2016 study by India’s National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS) – an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, revealed that nearly 150 million Indians needed active intervention while fewer than 30 million were getting it frequently.

A 2019 study by a British charity, Mental Health Research UK, found that 42.5 percent of the employees in India’s corporate sector suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder – almost every second employee.

recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet warns that a range of mental health concerns from anxiety and anger to sleep disturbances, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are likely due to the psychological impact of quarantine – up to 29 percent of quarantined patients of SARS, a previous coronavirus outbreak in 2003, suffered PTSD.

Is India capable of dealing with the situation?

Although the world’s fifth largest economy, India has spent only 0.05 percent of its health budget annually on mental health over the last few years, much lower than even the average spending of low-income countries, which comes to about 0.5 percent of their healthcare budgets.

Mental health may not be an issue in any election and has rarely found mention in the election manifesto of any political party in India, but providing good health to its citizens is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. 

It’s high time that we start looking in to things seriously, people are silently suffering. It’s time we should open up.

It’s time to talk.

Peace.

Published by iwillhelp2help

I am here to listen you.

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