I have a mental disease; Where is the healthcare ?

The safety net, in a competitive society is healthcare.

From my observations as a kid I have seen in my family and relatives struggle to find a matching doctor, a clinic or a hospital when growing up in India. Failures in efficiently navigating the healthcare market is common. It is demanding on money, social support and time from people who cannot afford it.

In this healthcare setting, mental health is a scorned topic.

Number of suicides in India every year by cause (1)

This discussion is based on data from data.gov.in, however the issues are true across geographies. Think, what will happen if you find that a family member is mentally unfit and the next step is to admit the person to a mental hospital ?

It is not a rare event.

Total number of beds in mental Hospitals by state, for year 2012 (2)

Unlike other clinical issues it has a strong impact on social life. Someone with depression has a difficult time coping socially. Social stigma comes with the disease and then it also exacerbates it.

There are psychologists and social workers who can take care of these type of clinical issues. It is best if one can solve their issues in their city, town or village clinic with anyone of those professionals.

Admittance to the mental hospital can lead to bad outcomes such as fatality or development of chronic depression. Chronic mental issues drive people to suicide. Based on electronic health data available from data.gov.in there were 789996 suicides across states in 2014. Sometimes mental hospital is too late (3).

Number of suicides in 2014 (4)

What can you do today ? Talk to a professional if you need advice for someone else or yourself.


A psychiatric social worker assesses patients and develop patients’ specific plans of care. They also provide therapy, social welfare measures and emotional support to patients, as well as help family members. Psychologists assess and certify for intelligence, personality and other psychological concepts. They provide therapeutic interventions to patients and families.

Practice of medicine is evidence based. Psychosocial intervention is not given importance thats where things go off balance. Mental health is a multi-disciplinary job. Its been acknowledged world wide.


Thanks

Sreepriya for helping out with this blog post. She is a social worker. http://www.knowyourstar.com/author/sreepriya-menon/


References

  1. Data for suicides by cause 2001–2012; https://data.gov.in/catalog/stateut-wise-distribution-suicides-causes
  2. Data for number of hospital beds in mental hospitals 2012; https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/datafile/Statistics_of_Mental_Hospitals.xls
  3. Data for number of suicides in states across India 2014; https://data.gov.in/resources/state-wise-educational-status-suicide-victim-during-2014
  4. Mortality Among Inpatients of a Psychiatric Hospital: Indian Perspective; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031581/