UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 14 March 2022

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What’s the article is about?

The article talks about mental health and mental health care access and availability in India.

Data:

  • As per National Mental Health Survey, 
  • 14% of the population needs active mental health interventions.
  • Only 10% of mentally ill patients have received evidence-based mental treatment.
  • As per WHO, by the end of this year, nearly 20% of the population may suffer from mental illness.
  • As per Indian Psychiatric society, there are 0.75 psychiatrists per 1lakh population, recommended is 3 psychiatrists per lakh.

Challenges

  • Awareness: People still don't include mental health challenges as part of regular health. Hence failing to recognize/be aware of mental health.
  • Social stigma: A potent mix of superstition, social stigma and discrimination, and reliance on ‘faith healers’ is a major concern.
  • Infrastructure: Lack of doctor availability(as only 0.75 doctors/lakh patients are available). There is also a crunch of facilities and infrastructure too.
  • Funding: Low financial resource allocation of just 0.06% of GDP on mental health care.

Govt. Policies:

  • The National Mental Health Policy (NMHP) in 2014, to promote mental health, prevent mental illnesses, enable recovery from the mental illness
  • National Adolescent Health Programme, will comprehensively address the health needs of the 243 million adolescents
  • Ayushman Bharat under this also includes insurance cover for mental illness too.
  • Mental health act, 2017

Budget 2022 and Mental Health:

  • National Tele-Mental Health Programme for better access to quality mental healthcare services.
  • Tele-counseling centers: 23 dedicated centers will provide free tele-counseling, under the aegis and direction of the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS).
  • Funding: There is a 12.15 percent increase in the Center's budget for mental health when compared to the 2021-22 budget.
  • National digital health ecosystem: An open platform. It would consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, and universal access to health facilities.

Hence, the existing impediments should be solved by augmenting facilities to boost mental healthcare in India. 



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