Mental health disorders are emerging as important contributors to the burden of disease in India and their burden is projected to increase in the next 25 years as a consequence of the demographic and epidemiological transition in the country. We review the burden of mental health disorders and the current status ofmental health programs and policies in India and highlight some challenges that need to be addressed to reduce the large treatment gap and improve outcomes in people affected by these disorders. We recommend scaling-up of evidence-based interventions by progressively strengthening existing mental health systems through approaches such as: (i) integration of district mental health program with the National Rural Health Mission; (ii) delivery of mental health services through task sharing with community health workers and other health cadres; (iii) development of a robust monitoring and accountability framework; (iv) increase in community participation and demand for mental health services; and (v) active involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private health sector in provision of care.
Shidhaye, R.; Patel, V. A weight on the mind: Challenges and approaches to addressing mental health needs in India. India Health Beat (2012) 6 (6 June) 6 pp.