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Mental Illness in India

· Mental illnesses are one of the leading causes of years lived with disability in Indian Men and Women.

· Nearly 5% of India’s population (i.e. more than 7 Crore people) suffers from common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

· Depression is prevalent in 30 out of 1000 people in urban areas like Mumbai.

· India recorded the highest rate of major depression in the world at 36%.

· It can interfere with a person’s ability to work, make relationship difficult and destroy quality of life. In severe cases, it leads to suicide, causing 850,000 deaths a year.

· Suicide in the 2nd leading cause of death among those in the age group of 18 to 29 years.

· 37% of those who died by suicide had a mental disorder.

· The prevalence rate of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders is around 6% in the community and around 23% in schools in India.

· Obstacles in mental illness treatment in India:

Ø Stigma related to mental illness

Ø Delayed treatment seeking (preference to religious and faith healers)

Ø Lack of awareness in general public

· Slowly but surely, awareness regarding mental health issues is rising along with acceptance for mental health professionals. A greater number of people are willing to reach out to a mental health professional for a myriad range of problems ranging from psychosis to child problems to adjustment issues.

· Medical advancements over the years ensure that the best treatment options are available to the mentally ill.

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