Supporting Mental Health in India

Mental health is more than the mere lack of mental disorders. The positive dimension of mental health is stressed by WHO which includes the concepts of subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence and recognition of the ability to realize one’s intellectual and emotional potential.

It has also been defined as a state of well-being whereby individuals recognize their abilities, are able to cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and make a contribution to their communities.

In India, need for mental health services skyrocket past the number of psychiatrists in India – 0.2 per 100,000 population compared to a global median of 1.2 per 100,000 population. Similarly, the figures for psychologists, social workers and nurses working on mental health is 0.03, 0.03 and 0.05 per 100,000 population compared to a global median of 0.60, 0.40 and 2.00 per 100,000 population, respectively.

Since these professionals practice only in urban areas, their services are accessible mostly to the urban population. The rural population, especially the rural poor has no access to these professionals and poor awareness about symptoms of mental illness, myths and stigma related to it, lack of knowledge on the treatment availability and potential benefits of seeking treatment also contribute to the treatment gap.

As a response to the distressing scenario, the RI Districts of 3000,5340 and 2730 with M.S.Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation as a Technical partner launched the Mission Mental Health project with the support of Rotary Foundation. And ACRC is a proud partner!

Read in-depth about the project and work to create lasting solutions from dire need: http://www.matchinggrants.org/global/project1356.html