Girls and women in Ahmedabad and Vadodara have significantly high depression literacy compared to their male counterparts, according to a survey by city-based clinical psychologist and behavioural scientist Nimrat Singh. Over 2,000 subjects were surveyed with an aim to assess awareness among people on depression.
The study conducted over a period of two months, between July and September, surveyed 2,102 subjects, including 1,138 females and 964 males. These comprised 1,000 school students from classes 10 to 12, as well as 726 undergraduate students from arts and commerce colleges, and 376 school teachers from 14 private educational institutes of Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
A 22-item questionnaire designed by Kathy Griffiths, Australian National University (ANU) emeritus professor, was used to gather the subjects’ knowledge about depression, including common symptoms and treatment.
“There is a link between female and high depression literacy. This could be due to the fact that women are perceived to be more likely to experience depression and thus, are more aware about mental health… factors such as post-partum depression, hormonal changes, menopause, etc., make them more prone to the same,” said Singh.
The study was an attempt to determine the current level of mental health awareness, focusing on depression literacy, along with highlighting the existing stigmas attached to clinical depression.
“Ironically, in India, the current rate of mental health providers is one psychiatrist and 1.5 clinical psychologists for every 1,00,000 people, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 2017. This conveys the critical need for more practicing professionals in the field of mental health…,” the study says.