Community Mental Health in India


Definition of Health

World Health Organization (WHO)

‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity’.

Definition of Mental Health

American Psychological Association (APA) –

‘Mental health is a state of mind characterized by emotional well-being, good behavioral adjustment, relative freedom from anxiety and disabling symptoms, and a capacity to establish constructive relationships and cope with the ordinary demands and stresses of life.

Definition of Community Mental Health 

Community mental health care includes provision of crisis support, protected housing, and sheltered employment in addition to management of disorders to address the multiple needs of individuals.

Community-based services can lead to early intervention and limit the stigma of treatment. They can improve functional outcomes and quality of life of individuals with chronic mental disorders, and are cost-effective and respectful of human rights.

Community Mental Health in India

 health percent to GDP of India.png

health percent to GDP of India.png

The National Mental Health Survey (2015-16) estimated that close to 150 million Indians require mental health interventions and there exists a treatment gap of 70 to 92%. The overall impact is not just on the person, but also on those around them (hidden burden). Thus, the actual affected population may be much higher. This burden has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic due to the rise in uncertainty and anxiety, and is now becoming increasingly critical to address..

India has only 0.75 psychiatrists per lakh population largely concentrated in urban areas even though nearly 70% of the country’s population resides in rural areas, against the desirable 3 per lakh population- a deficit that would take at least 42 years to meet given the current pace of psychiatric education in the country.

The government of India is launching a national tele-mental health program. It provides 24×7 free counselling and care to people. India’s current finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced it in Budget 2022



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