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Need for a Relaistic Mental Health Programme in India

Need for a Relaistic Mental Health Programme in India

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Published by ANKUR BARUA
this article deals with the need for a realistic mental health programme in India to cope with the alarming increase of mental problems in Indian society.
this article deals with the need for a realistic mental health programme in India to cope with the alarming increase of mental problems in Indian society.

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Published by: ANKUR BARUA on Jun 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Indian J Psychol Med | Jan - Jun 2009 | Vol 31 | Issue 1
Department of Community Medicine, Sikkim-Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Address for correspondence:
Dr. Ankur Barua,Block-EE, No.-80, Flat No.-2A, Salt Lake City, Sector-2, Kolkata-700 091, West Bengal. India. E-mail: ankurbarua26@yahoo.com
community in preventing as well as in promotingmental health.
NeeD fOR a RealISTIC meNTal healThpROGRamme IN INDIa
India, with a population of a billion and very limitednumbers of mental health facilities and professionals(one bed per 40,000 population and three psychiatristsper million population), is confronting the complex issues of providing mental health care to its entirepeople. There are a few steps taken in the right direction,namely the launching of the National Mental HealthProgramme-NMHP (1982), adoption of Mental Health Act (1987), persons with disability Act (1995), andintegration of the mental health with primary healthcare at district level.Though the implementation of the NMHP hadan initial spurt, but later, there were delays in itsexpansion. Any programme howsoever well plannedcannot succeed unless there are no takers. There is anurgent need for proper IEC, i.e. information, education,and communication about the mental illness amongthe masses. This will not only help in breaking the
In India, at a given point of time, nearly 15 millionpeople suffer from serious psychiatric illness, andanother 30 million from mild/moderate psychiatricproblems.
The disability associated with mental orbrain disorders stops people from working and engagingin other creative activities.
COmmUNITy CaRe Of meNTally ChalleNGeD INDIvIDUalS
Early in the 1960s and 1970s, it was beginning to berealized that long-term institutional care of all theneedy mentally ill was neither possible nor desirable.The answer was deinstitutionalisation and community care. At that time, the best we could hope for wascompassionate custodial care within the four walls of a mental asylum. These ill people were left there, oftenfor life, by their relatives and community, who wouldthen forget about them. It says a lot for the progressmade over the years, even in our country, that wetalk not only of treating mentally challenged patientsin their own surroundings, but also of involving the
India, with a population of a billion, has very limited numbers of mental health facilities and professionals in providingmental health care to all the people. The disability associated with mental or brain disorders stops people from workingand engaging in other creative activities. Gradual implementation of district mental health programme in a phasedmanner with support of adequate managerial and financial inputs is the need of the day. Trained mental health carepersonnel, treatment, care, and rehabilitation facilities should be made available and accessible to the masses. The voluntary organizations should be encouraged to participate in mental health care programme.
Key words:
Community care, mentally challenged, realistic 
Need for a Realistic Mental Health Programme inIndia
Ankur Barua
New Horizon

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