Health & Lifestyle

Exclusive: World Mental Health Day 2021 – Depression and suicide is higher amongst women

New Delhi: World Mental Health Day is celebrated annually the world over on October 10 to boost consciousness about psychological well being points, lack of correct infrastructure to help psychological well being sufferers and social stigma confronted by folks affected by psychological sicknesses. This yr’s theme is ‘Mental well being in an unequal world’ and  we acquired in contact with Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Mental Health NGO Mpower to share her views on the identical.

“Mental disorder does not discriminate between people – anyone can get stricken by it. So, why should there be discrimination in the care that people receive? Sadly, we live in an unequal world where resources, opportunities and solutions are disproportionately distributed,” stated Neerja.

Below are some key facets of Mental Health circumstances shared by Neerja Birla.


According to The Lancet, practically 15 p.c of the worldwide psychological, neurological and substance abuse issues happen in India. In 2017, 19.73 crore folks (14.3 p.c of the inhabitants) had psychological sicknesses. Sadly, India additionally has the best variety of suicides on the earth – 319 deaths each day in 2019. 

In stark distinction, the variety of psychological well being professionals in India solely provides as much as 9,000 (0.75 per lakh inhabitants) and we solely have 56,600 psychiatric beds for 135 crore folks.

According to the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS), 80 p.c of individuals with psychological well being issues don’t obtain remedy for over a yr. The remedy hole for various psychological well being issues ranges from 28 p.c to 83 p.c. To cut back the remedy hole considerably and rapidly, we want extra hospitals, beds and skilled personnel. We should additionally empower the psychological healthcare system with high quality indicators.


700 psychiatrists are graduating yearly. But we want 2,700 yearly to bridge the prevailing hole inside 10 years. As of now, there is insufficient syllabus of psychological well being or psychiatry stems in medical schools. Mental well being research must be given much more significance. Online programs can enhance the attain considerably and assist cut back the hole quicker.

The share of psychological well being considerations is even higher in rural India the place remedy is scarcely out there. A partnership between psychiatrists, psychiatric social employees, anthropologists, NGOs, and native volunteers may play an essential function in making psychological well being accessible to a bigger inhabitants.


The prevalence of despair and anxiousness issues, in addition to consuming issues, is considerably higher in women. The affiliation between despair and dying by suicide is additionally higher amongst women. 38 p.c of working women in India present indicators of psychiatric morbidity in comparison with solely 26 p.c of the women who don’t work. In this unequal world, women are clearly much more deprived. Steps must be taken to have a look at women’s psychological well being from their perspective and discover options particular to their wants.

As per the NMHS, psychological sicknesses disproportionately have an effect on households with decrease earnings and employment and much less schooling ranges. The median out-of-pocket expenditure by households on remedy and journey to entry care is roughly 1,000-1,500 per thirty days. Mental healthcare must turn into much more reasonably priced in India. Medical insurance coverage must cowl psychological well being interventions, together with out-affected person ones, as per the Mental Health Act 2017 (MHA) directive.


Developed nations spend 5-18 p.c of the annual healthcare price range on psychological healthcare whereas India solely spends 0.05 p.c. After the MHA was handed in 2017, the National Mental Healthcare Program price range was elevated from Rupees 3.5 million to five million, however subsequently lowered to 4 million. This is even if a survey confirmed a 367 p.c soar in psychological well being queries even earlier than the pandemic had began. The funding for psychological well being wants to extend drastically and instantly, in order that the desperately wanted infrastructure could be developed. 

Two of the largest challenges that we have to overcome are lack of information and the stigma connected to psychological well being. Even educated folks discover it troublesome to just accept their psychological sicknesses. Moreover, folks with psychological well being points are seemed down on and made to really feel ashamed. This misinformation about psychological well being must go. People should unite and increase their voice actively in opposition to the stigma. A psychological well being concern is not a personality flaw or private failing. People affected by psychological issues can lead extraordinarily productive lives and be contributing members of society. 


The language barrier is additionally a significant hurdle. All psychological and psychiatric schooling terminology is in English. In such a situation, the usage of regional languages and colloquial lingo with the underprivileged and uneducated sections of society can create immediate rapport and belief, and hasten the method of making consciousness and fostering schooling by leaps and bounds.

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *