The Government of India is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in the country, for affordable and accessible mental healthcare facilities to the masses.
What are the various initiatives and steps taken by the government to provide mental healthcare facilities to the masses?
About the Rising Mental Health Cases
As per the National Mental Health Survey, 2016, the prevalence of mental disorders in the age group 13-17 years was 7.3%.
Some most common prevalent problems were Depressive Episodes & Recurrent Depressive Disorder (2.6%), Agoraphobia (2.3%), Intellectual Disability (1.7%), Autism Spectrum Disorder (1.6%), Phobic anxiety disorder (1.3%), and Psychotic disorder (1.3%).
The data regarding registered colleges and schools having the facility of a qualified counselor is not maintained centrally.
About the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP)
To generate awareness among the masses about mental illnesses, Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities are an integral part of the NMHP.
For better implementation of the program, support has been provided to States/UTs through the National Health Mission.
Manpower development Schemes, under NMHP:
To augment the availability of qualified manpower in the field of mental health, the Government, implements manpower development schemes.
Under the scheme, the government laid the establishment of Centers of Excellence and strengthening/ establishment of Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialties.
The District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) component of the NMHP has been sanctioned for implementation in 704 districts, which includes;
Involvement of communities for awareness generation activities in schools, and workplaces through local newspapers and radio, street plays, wall paintings, etc.
Facilities provided at the Community Health Center (CHC) and Primary Health Centre (PHC) levels, including outpatient services, assessment, counseling/ psycho-social interventions, outreach services, ambulance services, etc.
Allotment of sufficient funds to each District under the DMHP for Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities.
Further, funds are provided to each district supported under DMHP for targeted interventions with the following objectives:
To provide class teachers with facilitative skills to promote life skills amongst their students.
To provide the class teachers with knowledge and skills to identify emotional conduct, scholastic, and substance use problems in their students.
To provide class teachers with a system of referral for students with psychological problems to the District Mental Health Team for input and treatment.
To involve other stakeholders like parents, and community leaders to enhance the development of adolescents, etc.
Other Government Programs
In the Budget of 2022-23, the Government has announced a “National Tele Mental Health Programme” to improve access to quality mental health counseling and care services.
Mental healthcare services; The government provides online training courses for general healthcare medical and para-medical professionals through the Digital Academies established at the three Central Mental Health Institutes namely;
The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru,
Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam,
Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi.
News Source: PIB
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