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In India, only 1 in 10 mentally ill gets treatment

In India, only 1 in 10 mentally ill gets treatment

India and China together account for one-third of global burden of mental illness, higher than the total of all developed countries and yet most people with mental disorders in these two nations do not receive proper treatment, says a Lancet report.

According to the study, India lost 31 million years of healthy life to mental illness in 2013, whereas China accounted for a loss of 36 million years. This includes dementia, anxiety disorder, substance use and epilepsy.

The study also projects that over the next decade, burden of such illness is estimated to grow more rapidly in India than in China. Estimates suggest that by 2025, 38.1 million years of healthy life will be lost to mental illness in India (23% increase), whereas it is expected to go up by 10% in China to touch 39.6 million. Despite this, both countries face severe shortage of mental health facilities, infrastructure and doctors. In India, only 1 in 10 people with mental health disorder receive treatment with 0.3 psychiatrist per one lakh of population. In China, less than 6% patients seek treatment.

Shedding light on the vast mental health treatment gap in China and India, authors of the report suggest community engagement, support for community health workers and collaboration with traditional and alternative medicine practitioners. are key to providing more accessible, affordable and acceptable mental health care in India and China.

Courtesy : The Times of India