ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Mental HealthSubscribe to Mental Health

Reducing Suicides

Prevalence of suicide in India is a public health issue and must be addressed as one.

Mental Health Legislation

The Mental Health Care Bill, passed in the Rajya Sabha in August 2016, and up for discussion in the Lok Sabha, attempts to address complex issues and integrate divergent perspectives, resulting in uneasy compromise. It is still a work in progress.

Mental Healthcare

The provision of mental healthcare at the primary level in low- and middle-income countries is woefully inadequate today. While the recent emphasis on the link between mental disorders and non-communicable diseases appears to be a tactical advance, it is also an admission of the strategic failure of integrating mental healthcare into primary care.

Ecologies of Suffering

This article proposes an "ecology of suffering" which mediates between the sufferer and the "clinic." "Ecology" refers to the network of forces acting on and by the people suffering and those around him/her. It is chosen to stress the mix of "natural," and "social" such as landscapes or air pollution. "The clinic" refers to what happens locally between the sufferer and mental health professionals attempting to actualise the National Mental Health Policy. The aim is to enhance a crucial, yet neglected, aspect of India's National Mental Health Programme: that individual mental suffering is related to a wide range of local factors.

Mental Distress, Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment

After the Germanwings pilot with psychological problems flew a plane-load of passengers into the French Alps, there has been a great deal of public discussion on mental illness, suicidal tendencies and treatment. This comment addresses two larger issues related to mental distress and illness--psychiatric labelling and the indiscriminate use of psychotropic medication. Though human thinking, emotions, and behaviour defy simplistic categorisation, the current trend is to medicalise personal, social, economic, and political problems while diminishing the role of a causal environment.

Persistent, Complex and Unresolved Issues

Challenges in the provision, accessibility and corresponding treatment gaps in mental health services in India and other low- and middle-income countries have been the subject of considerable discussion in recent times. Moving away from frequently acknowledged macro concerns, a few recurring, persistent problems remain insufficiently analysed. This article aims to capture the complexity and distress caused by the co-occurrence and interrelatedness of poverty, mental ill health and homelessness. It examines the ramifications of this nexus in domains including health systems and access to healthcare, productive living and full participation, social attitudes and responsiveness, and the development of human resources and leadership in the social sector. It also discusses the failure to engage with these issues which results in greater vulnerability, distress and social defeat among the affected populations.

Draft National Health Policy 2001 - III : Mental Health: Serious Misconceptions

Policy must certainly be built on people-based principles and practices of 'holistic' health and serious consideration must be given to evolving new perspectives about mental health and the inner life that is beyond the Cartesian mind/body dichotomy. However, a 'holistic' conception of mental health is not about treating mental disorder as another type of public health issue, like kala azar or malaria. While mental health must make linkages with the public health discourse, the differences must be also recognised, articulated and debated.

Women in Psychological Distress

Issues related to women's mental health in our country have not received much attention either from academia or from the women's movement. Viewing mental illness from the biomedical perspective, mainstream academic approaches have, by and large, ignored the impact of sociocultural factors. In an area such as women's mental health, it is necessary to consider the socio-cultural context of their health since it is being increasingly recognised that the stresses that differentially affect women because of their unequal social status have led to pervasive mental health problems. The present paper focuses on the gender-specific distribution of psychological disorders and construction of a socio-demographic profile of women affected by mental illness. Data from hospital case records of patients in two major psychiatric facilities in the city of Visakhapatnam formed the empirical basis for the study.

Perspectives on Child Health

Mental Health in Indian Schools by Malavika Kapur; Sage, New Delhi, 1997; pp 168, Rs 275, (cloth).

Pages

Back to Top