Awareness Still The Most Important Issue Around Mental Health, Docs Speak Up!
The theme was discussed during a session on mental health at the 5th BW Healthcare Summit
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Experts at the 5th BW Healthcare Summit deliberated on awareness around mental health issues. From pre detecting mental health problems to the Indian mental health care law, many sub themes came up during the discussion.
Dr. Sanjay Chugh, a senior consultant, alarmingly pointed out the gap in number of patients and doctors today in India. “We are talking about 30 crore people with mental health problems and only 6000 psychiatrists. I can at best manage only 20 patients a day”, he said. His point was accentuated by Dr. Nimesh Desai, Director, IHBS who pointed the low levels of mental health awareness among the common people. “We need to increase awareness and sensitisation regarding mental health. 80 percent people who need mental health treatment never get it”
Astha Ahluwalia, psychologist and co founder, Reboot Wellness said, “There are people who have mental illness and then there are people who don’t have illness but need mental health therapies to lead a normal life. We need awareness around both”.
The panelists also pointed out the relevance of the existing mental healthcare laws which have and can help increase mental health awareness and help people who suffer across the country. Mrinal Kanwar, a legal expert on mental health and supreme court lawyer pointed out, “We have come a long way from patients being called lunatics to now them having crucial rights. What needs to be improved now is providing access to mental health in all districts which is also the intention of the mental healthcare act. The government will have to figure a way out to implement the provisions of the healthcare act considering budgetary constraints.”