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Review Papers | Psychiatry | India | Volume 11 Issue 7, July 2022
Stigma as a Barrier in Treatment Seeking for Mental Disorders in India
Sakshi Bhardwaj | Abhinav Bhardwaj | Seema Bhardwaj
Abstract: Stigma against mental illnesses is considered as an important factor for increased gap in treatment of mental disorders. The result of National Mental Health Survey indicates a huge burden of mental health problems. Nearly, 150 million Indians need mental health care services but less than 30 million are seeking care. India spends only 0.05% of their GDP on mental health as compared to 15-18% in other countries despite increasing mental health crisis in India. Mental health is a huge contributor to economic burden of non-communicable diseases. A negative attitude is seen in society towards people who are on psychotropic medications or who are consulting psychiatrist for one or another mental health issues. Patients are continuously fighting with their own mental health condition and on the other side, face many challenges due to mental health stigma. Even mental health professionals and the psychiatric nursing staff are also the targets of mental health stigma. Despite the increasing awareness regarding mental health, increasing postgraduate seats in psychiatry, new mental health care act, stigma in society remains the same. Either the individual does not reach the hospital for treatment of mental illness or face many issues regarding their job security, housing, violation of rights, inhumane behavior etc. So, there is need to tackle these emerging issues by various methods such as education, awareness and training among general health practitioners, targeting media, involvement of Non-governmental organizations and strict legislative measures and implementation of new mental health care act, 2017 in India to combat the treatment gap and to handle the mental health crisis in India.
Keywords: Mental health stigma, mental health care act, Media, Negative attitudes, treatment seeking, mental disorders
Edition: Volume 11 Issue 7, July 2022,
Pages: 1911 - 1915
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