Lancet report: Mental health disorders on the rise in India

Alicia Farmer
October 11, 2018

According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015, over five crore Indians suffer from depression.

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"No other health condition in humankind has been neglected as much as mental health has", Dr Patel said.

'Many of the issues facing our young people today, such as, bullying, suicide, the onset of major mental illnesses, the effects of trauma, and gender identity discrimination require our time and attention, global awareness and compassion, as well as new programs and guidelines on how we can protect and empower the next generation'.

It also recommended a wholesale shift to community-based care for mental health patients, with psychosocial treatments such as talking therapies being offered not just by medical professionals, but also by community health workers, peers, teachers and the clergy.

"For over a decade, we have had doctors who are consultants in sport and exercise medicine looking after our elite athletes", he added. "And we can give the mental wellbeing of our children the priority it so profoundly deserves".

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Penned by the Lancet Commission on Mental Health, the report highlighted that people living with mental illnesses still routinely suffer "gross human rights violations" including "torture".

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They cited that mental health now receives less than one percent of global aid, claiming that "every nation in the world is a "developing" country when it comes to mental health".

"In my time as health minister I have met many people who have been bereaved by suicide and their stories of pain and loss will stay with me for a long time".

Like most low and middle income countries, Zimbabwe puts people with mental health problems in hospitals, rather than treating them in the community, says Professor Dixon Chibanda of the University of Zimbabwe - one of the country's handful of trained psychiatrists.

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said they "welcome the government's announcement of funding towards Samaritans' helpline, which will meet around 10 percent of the total helpline costs for the next four years and help us to continue to provide our service free of charge".

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