February 16, 2011 6:53:27 pm
Mental health might not be on the priority list of public health practitioners in India,but an analysis of government data shows that around 20 per cent of all patients seen by primary healthcare doctors in India have one or more mental disorders.
The findings show that one in four families is likely to have at least one member with a behavioural or mental disorder.
These disorders account for 10.5 per cent of the global burden of disease in 1990.
This burden increased to 12 per cent in 2000 and an analysis of trends in the World Health Report–2001 indicates this burden will increase to 15 per cent by 2020.
According to the National Family Health survey,in India,at a given point of time,nearly 15 million people suffer from serious psychiatric illness and another 30 million from mild to moderate psychiatric problems.
In order to address these issues,the Government launched the National Mental Health Programme in 1996 in four districts as a pilot project.
Subsequently,in 2003,this was enhanced to include upgrading of psychiatry-wings of Government Medical Colleges or General Hospitals and modernisation of state-run mental hospitals.
The outlay for the National Mental Health Programme has been increased from Rs 140 crore in the last plan to Rs 1,000 crore for the present plan period,senior health ministry officials said.
The government is also planning community mental health camps and is looking to develop partnerships for the same.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad will inaugurate an international conference-cum-workshop on Asia Pacific Community Mental Health.
The conference will be organised in collaboration with Asia Australia Mental Health,a consortium of Department of Psychiatry and Asia Link of University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Health,a leading healthcare provider of Australia.
The workshop-cum-conference will be attended by mental health leaders from 17 countries of Asia and Pacific region as well as state nodal officers of National Mental Health Programme,member secretaries of State Mental Health Authorities,leading mental health institutes,prominent NGOs working in mental health and users of mental health services from India.
The conference will provide an opportunity to the delegates to share their experiences and learn from one another for developing better models of community-based mental health care. It will also strengthen the leadership role of India in community mental health development,the officials said.
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