Day 9 – Q 3. How severe is the issue of mental health in India? Examine. Do social stereotypes and prejudices aggravate this problem? Examine. 

  • IASbaba
  • June 19, 2020
  • 0
TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. How severe is the issue of mental health in India? Examine. Do social stereotypes and prejudices aggravate this problem? Examine. 

भारत में मानसिक स्वास्थ्य का मुद्दा कितना गंभीर है? जांच करें। क्या सामाजिक रूढ़ियाँ और पूर्वाग्रह इस समस्या को बढ़ाते हैं? जांच करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to write about severity of mental health in Indian context. Students should also write how social stereotypes and prejudices contribute in increasing this severity.


Threat of COVID-19 epidemic, its related rumours and side effects of social, economic stress has aggravated the existing mental health issue in India. Further, social stereotypes and prejudices aggravate the existing mental illness leading to rise in number of suicides. 


Increasing number of Students, farmer’s, female suicides highlight the neglect of mental disease.

Severity of mental health issue in India:

  • As per a government study, Extreme anxiety amid the covid-19 pandemic has left over 50% people feeling depressed
  • India also had the third-highest female suicide rate (14.7) and nearly a fourth of male suicides in the world
  • As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data every hour one student commits suicide in India
  • According to a Lancet report, suicide rates in India are highest in the 15-29 age group — the youth population.
  • Inadequacy in infrastructure as well as in numbers of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses cause gap in treatment of mental illness.

Social stereotypes and prejudices are preconceived opinions, feelings for an entity which are not based on reason. They are mostly negative in nature and negative behaviour against the concerned entity.

Social stereotypes and prejudices aggravate mental health issue in following ways:

  • Family, Educational institution, Society, Traditions and Culture, etc. inculcate mental illness as weakness in personality and character. This leads to lack of disclosure and rise in depression.
  • High Expectations from youth: They are taught to be responsible, ambitious, competitive. Good job and a settled life is worshipped and others are condemned. 
  • Wrong notions of success – Money, luxury, status, material success are wrongly considered as measure of success. Causing neglect of real reason of mental illness
  • Rapes, sexual harassment victims are considered as women of questionable character. 
  • Stereotypes and prejudices are negative consequences of ignorance and misinformation

Participation by family members, Yoga-meditation, sensitization to treatment and social inclusion, community-based intervention, Mental health awareness campaigns, use of technology have yielded positive outcomes.

Attitudes which hinder recognition and appropriate help-seeking of mental illness can be countered by write information.


Thus, prevalence of mental illness is not just an individual problem, but a societal problem which can be effectively dealt with compassionate collective efforts of society.

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