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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1862
ANSWERED ON:  12.02.2021
Mental Health Pandemic
Khagen Murmu
Will the Minister of



HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:-


Will the Minister of HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government has noted that the country is confronted with a brewing pandemic of mental sickness like the rest of the world, if so, the details thereof;

(b) whether the Government has adequate medical infrastructure to handle this crisis, if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor;

(c) whether the Government is aware that conventional psychiatry medicines have side effects and aggravate symptoms of mental sickness, due to absence of pathogenesis and specific medicines in this regard, if so, the details thereof; and

(d) the steps taken by the Government to devise beneficial medical treatment for mental sickness and also create awareness amongst the citizens in this regard?


ANSWER
ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND
FAMILY WELFARE
(SHRI ASHWINI KUMAR CHOUBEY)
(a) & (b): Government of India is not aware of any current pandemic of mental sickness in the rest of the world or any brewing pandemic of mental sickness in the country. However, the Government conducted the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) of India through the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru in 2016 as per which the prevalence of mental disorders in adults over the age of 18 years is about 10.6%. The treatment gap for mental disorders ranged between 70% to 92% for different disorders.

(c): Like all medicines used for treatment of medical illnesses, conventional medicines in psychiatry also have similar proportions of side-effects. Most side-effects of psychiatric medicines when they emerge, can be treated with readjusting doses, timings or by adding some counter-acting medications. Like any other medicine, psychiatric medications too, have to comply with established procedures for approval of their use. Further, several newer medications for mental illness, having lesser side-effects, are also available now.

(d): To address the burden of mental disorders, the Government of India is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP). The Government is supporting implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) under NMHP in 692 districts of the country with the objectives to:
(i) Provide suicide prevention services, work place stress management, life skills training and counselling in schools and colleges.
(ii) Provide mental health services including prevention, promotion and long-term continuing care at different levels of district healthcare delivery system.
(iii) Augment institutional capacity in terms of infrastructure, equipment and human resource for mental healthcare.
(iv) Promote community awareness and participation in the delivery of mental healthcare services.
Counselling in schools and colleges, work place stress management, life skills training, suicide prevention services and IEC activities for generation of awareness amongst the citizens, are major components of DMHP.

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