The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health in India and How to Reduce it

Mental health and psychological care in India have remained suppressed under an often-repeated phrase – ‘log kya kahenge?’ This cuts across gender, caste, religion, socio-economic class, and region in India, making people shy away from coming out in the open. The immense pressure to stay and act ‘normal’ manifests an unhealthy stigma against getting help. As per a recent survey by NIMHANS, about 150 million Indians need mental healthcare while only 30 million actually seek it. This was further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein depression, anxiety, and other disorders were amplified.

The need of the hour is to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health. This will significantly improve access to mental health services and support in the country. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry indicates that India has only 0.75 psychiatrists for every 100,000 patients, a number that is significantly low compared to many other countries. The ideal number is 3 per 100,000 patients. There is a need to increase government spending on mental health. A decentralized approach through public-private partnerships can be handy here. Additionally, it is also important to offer subsidies and grants for starting clinics and hospitals as well as foster innovation and run targeted campaigns for mental health issues. Mental health needs to be made a national priority as it is indirectly related to various other health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

Bringing a systemic change is the first step towards addressing the stigma. There is a need to undertake more research to better understand and increase knowledge of the various conditions that affect people. Improving the effectiveness of treatment and counseling making it more accessible.

Shared By : Runam Mehta,

CEO, HealthCube

View More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Top
Open chat