Mental Health Diseases and their care in India
In an address delivered by the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, former Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu, expressed concerns for the lack of health care for the mentally ill in the country.
He stated that while much has improved in the past years, a wide chasm still exists in the mental healthcare for the people in India. He expressed these concerns regarding the lack of facilities and shortfall of requirements of mental healthcare in the country while inaugurating a day-long NHRC National Level Review Meeting on Mental Health which is being organized in the New Delhi’s India International Centre.
Where we currently lag?
- Mental health is a sensitive issue and there is a serious need for trained healthcare staff to handle medical mental healthcare needed.
- It is estimated that over 10.6% of the Indian Adult population suffers from Mental health issues and they require a comprehensive net of safety legal and medical framework and adequate mental healthcare facilities.
- However, mental healthcare does not receive sufficient attention and unfortunately, only 19 states have implemented the Mental Healthcare Act, till date.
- While currently, there is a requirement of 13500 psychiatrists to handle mental counseling but only 3827 certified psychiatrists exist in the country.
- What’s more appalling is that only 898 clinical psychologists practice in India while we have a requirement of 20250 clinical psychologists.
- Additionally, we also face a severe lack of paramedical staff.
Role of NHRC
The primary role of the NHRC is to bring together the different stakeholders to discuss the subject and improve the current mental healthcare situation via a collaborative and comprehensive approach.