New Delhi: World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
This year’s theme for the day is ‘mental health for all’ as it comes at a time when the entire world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted the mental health of millions of people. The levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, social distancing and emotional distress that is associated with the virus have become widespread as the world struggles to bring COVID-19 under control.
However, the scenario surrounding mental health has not changed much, especially in India. There’s still stigma attached to mental illnesses and the number of psychiatrists and counsellors in the country remain at an abysmal number.
Here are some statistics about Mental Health in India that shows the country has a long way ahead:
1. WHO also states that the mental health workforce in India is not upto the mark and there is a huge shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists in the country as compared to the number of people suffering from mental health issues. WHO states that in India, (per 100,000 population) there are psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07), while the desirable number is anything above 3 psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 population.
2. WHO also estimates that about 7.5 per cent Indians suffer from some mental disorder and predicts that by end of this year roughly 20 per cent of India will suffer from mental illnesses. According to the numbers, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders.
3. Did you know India also accounts for 36.6 per cent of suicides globally, and that suicide has surpassed maternal mortality as the leading cause of death among women and teenage girls aged 15-19 years? Lancet studies suggest that India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25·3% in 1990 to 36·6% in 2016 among women, and from 18·7% to 24·3% among men. As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16 , conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, under the purview of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it was revealed that 9.8 million teenagers in the age group 13-17 years suffer depression and other mental health disorders and are “in need of active intervention”. Whereas, according to a study by the Lancet, suicide deaths ranked first among all causes of death in women aged 15-29 years in 26 of the 31 states, and in women aged 15-39 years in 24 states in the country.
4. According to World Health Organisation, the burden of mental health problems is of the tune of 2,443 disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 population, and the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 population is 21.1.
5. According to the burden of mental disorders across the states of India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017 – One in seven Indians were affected by mental disorders of varying severity in 2017 and the proportional contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden in India has almost doubled since 1990.
6. WHO also estimates that, in India, the economic loss, due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is 1.03 trillions of 2010 dollars.
When it comes to person’s physical health, people are so conscious and aware these days – they have also access to a lot more things to maintain their health, they know everything about superfoods, the latest diet trends or workouts, but when it comes to mental health, the awareness just isn’t there. So many people aren’t even aware that they may be suffering from form of mental health issues and these statistics show the grim reality.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.