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Mental Healthcare

  • IASbaba
  • December 23, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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SOCIETY/ HEALTH/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 1,2:

  • Social Empowerment
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health and Human Resources.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Mental Healthcare

Issues

  • Around 15% of India’s population suffer from poor mental health – and the number of people afflicted has been increasing steadily, from 125 million in 1990 to 197 million in 2017. 
  • Suicide ranks as the second-biggest cause of death among Indian adults of working age.
  • India spent less than 1% of its total healthcare budget on mental health in 2017.
  • Underutilization of funds, low prioritization of mental health by individual Indian states, and low coverage of health insurance for mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the need for additional financing of mental health services.

Way Ahead

  • Effective and innovative mental health interventions can be scaled up quickly in order to improve mental healthcare delivery in India.
  • Embedding the awareness and detection of mental health problems
  • Counselling and referral into well-defined care pathways through frontline workers at the community level.
  • Conducting behavioural change communication campaigns to destigmatize mental health issues and to present options for care for both patients and caregivers.
  • Enabling anonymous methods of seeking help, such as helplines or apps.
  • Improving accessibility by leveraging digital tools and technologies.
  • Strengthening mental health service delivery at the primary and secondary care levels.
  • Using mobile-based (digital) decision support systems to improve patient management.
  • Improving adherence to care through psycho-social education
  • Setting up follow-up mechanisms or changes of treatment regimen with increased adherence.
  • India needs impact financing for mental healthcare to complement public funding and for mobilizing resources from private sector and philanthropy, to bring innovative mental healthcare delivery models to scale.

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