In India, approximately 18 crore people suffer from mental health illness such as depression, stress and suicide. However, the amount of funds allocated by the government for mental issues is only Rs 50 crore in the National Mental Health Program.
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Dr Poddar emphasised on the importance of doctor-patient ratio. In a response to ETPanache Online, she writes, “the treatment gap makes it difficult for the government to manage the mental health of working-age population, which is a key social and economic issues as they are integral to the functioning of the economy”.
The mental health therapist says that the Mental Health Act, which ensures every insurer makes provisions for medical insurance for mental illness treatment just like physical illnesses, is mandatory.
“In case of hospitalisation during mental illness, the coverage will include analysis and diagnosis of a person’s mental condition, treatment as well as care and rehabilitation,” she said.
However, the York University alumna feels including mental health in health insurance isn’t enough. She expresses concern about the lack of infrastructure and doctor-to-patient ratio that is required for smooth functioning.
The mental health counsellor wants FinanceMinister Nirmala Sitharaman to focus on mental well-being in a wholesome way during this Union Budget. “The government should emphasise on the integration of mental health services in India’s basic healthcare system which will in turn improve its affordability and accessibility,” she adds.
Last, but not the least, Dr Poddar also urges the Government to raise more awareness by organising campaigns and empathy classes. “In these campaigns and empathy classes, people can share what is preying on their mind instead of agonising over it by keeping it in,” she added.
Make Notes, Eat Healthy & Exercise Daily: 7 Ways To Fight Depression
Stress and frustration can lead to depression, further affecting mental health. While it is imperative to consult with a medical professional if symptoms of depression are noticed, certain modification in one’s lifestyle can help in combatting mild depression. However, moderate to severe depression requires the treatment with medications. Nevertheless lifestyle changes do help in recovering as well as preventing the condition and future episodes. Dr Pallavi Aravind Joshi, Consultant Psychiatrist of Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield (Bengaluru) shares 7 tips to combat depression.
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