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FUTURE GENERATION PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Bldg. No. 223-225, Al – Baljourashi St. Suleimaniah District

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Social Stigma against Mental Health and Illness of Women in India

In Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements in Social Studies X

Axalan, Louise Ysabelle L.

X - Newton

Submitted to:

Ma’am Zenaida C. Meren


I. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

"You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women." Jawaharlal

Nehru, Leader of India's Independence movement, and India's first Prime Minister.

The World Health Organization sees mental health as multidimensional and espouses a

social model of health. It defines mental health as the capacity of the individual, the group and

the environment to interact with one another in ways that promote subjective well-being, the

optimal development and use of mental abilities. WHO predicts that 20% of the Indian

population will suffer from mental health illness by the year 2020. Barely 1-2% of the India’s

health budget is dedicated to mental health in comparison to 10-12% in other countries (Fortis,

2013). In India, the prevalence of mental disorders ranges from 10 to 370 per 1000 population in

different parts of the country. The rates are higher in females by approximately 20-25%. This

study focuses on explaining how the different dimensions of the society affects the women of

India and creating awareness of mental health to reduce the stigma against it.

A woman's mental health and psychological wellbeing is deeply affected and influenced

by her society and the roles she plays in her society. Stigma, discrimination and awareness can

seriously affect the health, welfare and quality of life of women with mental health problems and

illnesses. Stigma is rampant in Indian communities all over the world. The ignorance, fear,

misunderstanding and prejudice that surround mental illness deepen the severity of the illness as

individuals withdraw further from the world around them.


Gender influences the control men and women have over the determinants of their health,

for example, their economic position and social status, and their access to resources. Gender

configures both the material and symbolic positions that men and women occupy in the social

hierarchy, and shapes the experiences that condition their lives. India is strongly a man-centric

society. The structural hierarchy of Indian society, which puts patriarchy at the top of gender

cycle, has been predominant in deciding how women lead their lives in India causing their

mental health to be at risk.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study aims to tackle about the social stigma against mental health and illness of

women in India. Specifically, this study answers the following questions:

 What is the social stigma against mental health and illness that exists in the

society of India?

 What is the role of physiology and its effects on mental health of women in India?

 What is the role of family and its effects on mental health of women in India?

 What is the role of socio-economic status and its effects on mental health of

women in India?

 What is the role of culture and its effects on mental health of women in India?

 What is the role of media and its effects on mental health of women in India
1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to discuss the social stigma against mental health and

illness of women in India and create awareness about it. Other objectives are the following:

 To analyze the social stigma against mental health and illness that exists in the society

of India;

 To perceive the role of physiology and its effects on mental health of women in India;

 To determine the role of family and its effects on mental health of women in India;

 To divulge the role of socio-economic status and its effects on mental health of

women in India;

 To assess the role of culture and its effects on mental health of women in India;

 To apprehend the role of media and its effects on mental health of women in India;

1.4 Significance of the Study

This research study could provide information about the social stigma against mental

health and illness of women in India particularly on its prevalence, incidence and consequences.

This study would be beneficial to the people, specifically those who are aware of the existing

social stigma as this study widens their perspective about the status of women in India due to the

mental health and illness that they face in an entirely different point of view. By being educated

of the issue, they can amend and reassess their opinions as an individual and without affecting

the status of women in India.


Furthermore, this study would likewise be valuable to the women in India as this study

would instruct them about their rights as humans and engage them to face boldly the

consequences they encounter. This would expectedly increase the consciousness of the people

everywhere throughout the world to stop and re-consider what truly the stand of the mental

health of women in India is and how it can affect our society today.

To the future researchers, this study can provide baseline information on the recent status

of the social stigma against mental health and illness of women in India. Moreover, this study

will provide recommendations on how to eliminate and put an end to the the social stigma

against mental health and illness of women in India and how we, as humankind, can contribute

hand-in-hand in achieving a better goal for all which is a discrimination and hate free world

where everyone, no matter what race or gender, is treated equally and fairly.

1.5 Scope and Limitations

This study was made to distinguish about the social stigma against mental health and

illness of women in India. It also tackles about how mental health and illness is relevant to the

status of women in India. It also concerns how physiology, family, socio-economic status,

culture and media play a role and affects the status of women in India. It also gives

recommendations on putting an end to the social stigma that the women of India face.

This study is not that concerned with the men sector of the society because only the

female sector of the society is the focus of the study. The study is only limited to women of India

since they are the ones experiencing the issue discussed and researched in this study. This study

will not concentrate on other problems prevalent in India other than the social stigma against

mental health and illness of women in India.


1.6 Definition of Terms

For clearer understanding of the terms used in this study, below are their meanings:

Social Stigma – means a severe social disapproval with a person on the grounds of a

particular characteristic which distinguishes them from others in society

Mental Health – means a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and

emotional well-being

Mental Illness – means health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or

behavior (or a combination of these)

Gender Role – means a set of social norms dictating the types of behaviors which are

generally considered acceptable or appropriate for people based on their actual sex or sexuality

Social Hierarchy – means a fundamental aspect of social organization that is established

by fighting or display behavior and results in a ranking of the animals in a group

Patriarchy – means system of society or government in which men hold the power and

women are largely excluded from it


II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 MENTAL HEALTH AND MENTAL ILLNESSES

Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-

being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive

psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure

a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. On the other

hand, a mental disorder or mental illness is an involuntary psychological or behavioral pattern

that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as

part of normal development or culture.

Mental health is a major concern worldwide and India is not far behind in sharing this. If

we evaluate developments in the field of mental health, the pace appears to be slow. Dr. Brock

Chisholm, the first Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in 1954, had

presciently declared that “without mental health there can be no true physical health”. More than

60 years later, the scenario has not altered substantially. About 14% of the global burden of

disease is attributed to mental illnesses. The burden of mental disorders is likely to have been

underestimated because of inadequate appreciation of the inter-play between mental illness and

other health disorders.

Progress in mental health service delivery has been slow in most low- and middle-income

countries such as India. Barriers include the existing public-health priorities and its influence on

funding; challenges to delivery of mental health care in primary-care settings; the low numbers

of those trained in mental health care; and the lack of mental health perspective in public-health

leadership despite calls for enhancing advocacy and galvanizing community participation.
2.2 SOCIAL STIGMA AGAINST MENTAL HEALTH

Conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are viewed differently than clinical

depression and other mental disorders. These illnesses are often treated with much more

compassion, care and understanding and people aren’t ashamed to seek help. However,

individuals with mental illnesses and disorder possess another story. In India, people with severe

mental illnesses often turn to temples and shrines, not to doctors. It is a serious issue related to

mental health where it is believed in rural areas that the symptoms of mental illness are caused

by visitations and wrath of spirits, demons and ghosts. Consequently, it is believed that religious,

magical and other traditional methods by God, men and traditional healers can elevate the

symptoms. The basis of these structures has to be examined in the context of the oppressive

social structures in which there is widespread illiteracy and ignorance.

In India, there is a tremendous social and cultural pressure to marry. It is of paramount

importance to discuss the relationship between marriage and mental illness in Indian scenario as

marriage is perceived to be a panacea to mental illness by many. Marriage is a socially

acceptable way to satisfy the basic human need for sexual gratification. It thus forms the basis

for procreation and building up of family. In India, it is almost compulsory for every individual

to marry and “settle down.” Not being married is considered a stigma, particularly in case of

women whereas being married translates into elevation in social status.

In Indian society, words such as "Pagal" are commonly used and casually thrown around

in normal conversations. The word means 'crazy' or 'mentally ill'. Such words create more

stigmas and desensitize the society towards people who are suffering from psychological distress

and dysfunction.
2.3 WOMEN’S MENTAL HEALTH IN INDIA

In the present scenario, when there are global concerns about gender equality and many

international conventions have resolved against any form of discrimination against women,

prioritizing women mental health does not seem to be justified. It has been argued that the

specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, in medical science, exclusively caters to the specific

health needs of women, but there is no such exclusive mental health discipline for men.

Gender has been described as a critical determinant of mental health and mental illness.

The Indian culture is composed of joint family system, patriarchy, marriage a must especially for

women, subservient status of daughter-in-laws at home, preference for the male child, practice of

dowry, lower educational status of women, strict code of conduct for females, and primary roles

of women being childbearing and child rearing, and the “Indian Paradox” (the married woman

with severe mental illness, subjected to domestic violence makes frantic efforts for restitution of

conjugal rights rather than for separation or divorce), are all part of the Indian culture. These

factors significantly affect the occurrence, manifestations, treatment, and outcome of mental

disorders in women of India. However, traditionally, women mental health is conceived in terms

of reproductive health, other areas have received little attention.

Gender determines the differential power and control that men and women have over the

socioeconomic determinants of their mental health and lives, their social position, status and

treatment in society and their susceptibility, and exposure to specific mental health risks.

Furthermore, the expectation about what constitutes illness is gender biased. Thus, the somatic

complaints that form the most prominent presentation of mental disorders may not be taken into

account by the healthcare providers.


A gender bias more often than not ensures that the symptoms are taken less seriously than

they are for men. The impact of mental health problems also shows a gender differential. For

example, whereas women are required to be the primary care givers if their husbands were

mentally ill, it is themselves who still need to carry on with the role of care giving to the family

despite their problems.

Furthermore, when a woman becomes mentally ill, services are sought infrequently and

late. The mentally ill woman may be socially ostracized, abandoned and blamed for her illness.

Hence, being a “woman” and being “mentally ill” is a dual curse. Several studies show that there

is greater distress in married women as compared to married men. The birth of a child, abortion

or miscarriage, economic stresses, and major career changes are some of the stressful events in

married life; many of these are gender specific. In a study, of women with schizophrenia and

broken marriages, Thara et al. found that the stigma of being separated or divorced is often felt

more acutely by families and patients than the stigma of having a mental illness.

Psychiatric epidemiological data cite a ratio of one woman for every three men attending

public health psychiatric outpatients’ clinics in urban India. Indian state officials view this as

“under-utilization” by suffering women, attributing it to the greater stigma attached to women's

mental illness that restricts help-seeking in public health facilities and/or to the lower importance

accorded to women's health generally. Gender heightens the discrepancy between prevalence and

utilization. This low attendance is partly explained by the lack of availability of resources for

women in the hospital settings. The mental hospitals appear to cater primarily to men in distress,

and there is sex-based discrimination in the availability of beds. The male to female ratio for the

allotment of beds in government mental hospitals with only service was 73% is to 27% while

those with service, research, and training were 66% is to34%.


2.4 ROLE OF PHYSIOLOGY

Hormones can affect a woman's mood throughout her lifetime and sometimes, the impact

on mood can affect a woman's quality of life. Once a young woman starts menstruating, she may

begin to experience emotional changes around the time of her period. 75 percent of women with

regular period cycles report unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms before their periods.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), affects 30 to 80 percent of women. In many parts and cultures of

India, menstruation is celebrated since a girl finally becomes a 'woman' and is ready for marriage

and childbearing. This process gives a positive outlook of a difficult and different phase of a

girl's life and helps her associate positive emotions with menstruation.

However, there is taboo related to menstruation as well. Whether it is not touching the

pickle, not participating in any pooja or god related rituals or ceremonies, not eating meals with

other members of the family. This, on the contrary, may have a negative impact on the young

girls and make them feel rejected, depressed or anxious or confused about the impending

menstruation. Feelings of inferiority might also develop. Depression and anxiety are the most

common mental health problems in pregnancy. These affect about 10 to 15 out of every 100

pregnant women. Women also experience many other mental health problems during pregnancy,

just like at other times. How a woman’s mental health is affected during pregnancy depends on

many things. These include:

• the type of mental illness she has experienced;

• whether she is on treatment;

• recent stressful events in her life (such as death in the family or relationship ending)

• how she feels about her pregnancy.


Mental disturbances frequently occur during late pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

Postpartum blues is the most common and least severe postpartum illness affecting between 50%

and 80% of new mothers, whereas postpartum depression constitutes a major depressive episode

with an onset within 6 weeks postpartum in a majority of cases. In India, depression occurs as

frequently during late pregnancy and after delivery as in developed countries, but there are

cultural differences in risk factors. In a study in rural Tamil Nadu, the incidence of postpartum

depression was 11%. Low income, birth of a daughter when a son was desired, relationship

difficulties with mother-in-law and parents, adverse life events during pregnancy and lack of

physical help are all risk factors for the onset of postpartum depression. Similarly, a recent

systematic review on nonpsychotic common perinatal disorders (CPMD) among women from

low and middle income countries estimated that about one in six pregnant women and one in five

women who have recently given birth experience the said mental disorder.

The risk is highest among the most socially and economically disadvantaged women. The

other important risk factors include gender-based factors such as the bias against female babies;

role restrictions regarding housework and infant care; and excessive unpaid workloads;

especially in multi-generational households in which a daughter-in-law has little autonomy, and

gender-based violence. Also, menopause is a time of change for women not only in their

endocrine and reproductive systems, but also their social and psychological circumstances. It has

long been known that menopause is accompanied by depression and other mental disturbances.
2.5 ROLE OF FAMILY

India is a secular and pluralistic society characterized by tremendous cultural and ethnic

diversity. In India, the family is the most important institution that has survived through the ages.

Unlike the West, in India, family is the key resource of good mental health. Since ages, the

Indian family has been a dominant institution in the life of individuals. In the ‘restrictive’

environment of the joint family, women are expected to observe more restraint, all must be

subject to command of the ‘elders’, which leads to interpersonal maladjustment. The various

roles that a girl or woman plays affects her mental health differently. Below we explore these

roles and the expectations that the family has, and its effects on her psychological well-being.

A.) As a daughter

Being a daughter implies that there is a mother or a father. It suggests that being a

daughter entails expectations about a female's behavior towards a parent and a parent's behavior

towards the daughter. As a daughter, women's role is very limited and restricted to certain level.

Their freedom is controlled and disciplined by their parents. In the majority of Indian families at

every level of socialization, a distinction between sons and daughters is commonly observed. In

many families, the education of male offspring takes precedence over the education of female

child (Jain, 1988). This situation often brings frustration and conflict among the aspiring female

children. The same level of discrimination was shown by many families in sending their

daughters and sons to employment which further affects their confidence, self-esteem, and

handicaps them to reach their potential. This oppression can damage daughters’ mental health

and lead to severe mental disorders lead to psychological distress, depression, conduct disorder,

defiant disorder etc.


B.) As a wife

As long as a woman lives with her parents as a daughter her roles are limited, and as soon

as she gets married and enters into her husband's family, it brings new status to her and this

achieved status demands quite different types of roles to be performed by her. Traditionally, the

expectations of every member of the family are to be fulfilled by her and further with her

behavior and activities, she has to earn the appreciation and approval of not only of her husband

but also of other members of the family. India Today survey shows us that 79.3% men believe

that marital rape is okay. Despite the fact that marital rape receives little public and scholarly

attention, it is one of the most serious forms of violence. In a study, it was indicated that women

who are raped by their husbands are likely to experience assaults and often suffer from long-term

physical and emotional consequences (Bergen, 2006). The experience of being sexually

assaulted can damage women’s mental health and also lead to severe mental disorders such as

suicidal tendencies, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, etc.

C.) As a mother

As soon as a woman attains the status of mother, additional roles will add to her usual

roles. In Hindu society, a woman as a mother has a unique place. Despite her inferior position as

a daughter and a housewife, she has a supreme position in the society as a mother. At the same

time, this is not practiced. She has no voice in family and social matters. Her ignorance and

illiteracy were the responsible factors of her inferior status in the family. The higher education of

women and their entry into employment has brought a radical change in the concept of child

rearing and these factors are remarkably influencing the socializing role of a woman as a

'mother'.
2.6 ROLE OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS

WHO report on mental health states that mental disorders occur in persons of all genders,

races and backgrounds. No group is immune to mental disorder but the risk is higher among the

poor, homeless and unemployed people with low education. Socio-economic status (SES) is

often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation. It is commonly

conceptualized as the social standing or class of an individual or group. SES affects the overall

human functioning including development across the life span, physical and mental health.

However, women are over-presented among those living in poverty. Women are more often

responsible for raising children and are more likely to raise children alone. This fact is one of the

main reasons that socio-economic standing of women is of great importance to the well-being of

future generation.

Because of the stigma and ignorance attached with mental health, rural communities

without access to trained specialists tend to lack an adequate understanding of it. Many cases go

unrecognized and untreated. The gender insensitivity and discrimination only makes this

situation that much harder for women. In a study by Patel (1999), it was shown that low

education and poverty were strongly associated with common mental disorders in women. The

urbanization brings deleterious consequences for mental health through the influence of

increased stressors and factors such as overcrowded and polluted environment, dependence on a

cash economy, high levels of violence, and reduced social support. There is considerable stigma

attached with mental health and ignorance regarding information about mental health and

available help and treatment. The mental health care in urban areas is at present limited to

psychiatric hospitals and departments of psychiatry in medical colleges. Mental health problems

at early stage remain unrecognized and untreated (Kumar, 2005)


2.7 ROLE OF CULTURE

South Asia is the most heavily populated and amongst the poorest regions in the world. It

faces enormous social, economic and health challenges, including pervasive inequality, violence,

political instability and high burden of diseases. Marked gender discrimination in South Asia has

led to second class status of women in society. Their mobility, work, self-esteem, worth and

identity seem to depend upon the male members of a patriarchal society. Women's lack of

empowerment and both financial and emotional dependence have restricted their self- expression

and choices in life. This, along with family, social and work pressures, has a definite impact on

women's mental health (Niaz and Hassan, 2006).

The Indian constitution grants women equal rights to men, but strong patriarchal

traditions persist in many different societal parts, with women's lives shaped by customs that are

centuries old. A tradition that was highly prevalent in India was the dowry tradition in which

women were married to men based on the condition that they get money, property, gold or other

assets to the man's family at the time of marriage. Although, dowries were made illegal in India

in 1964, women are still treated as a commodity.

Rape in India is the fourth most common crime against women. Rape culture is a term

that is used to describe a culture in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal

attitudes about gender, sex and sexuality. It is a direct infringement on the rights of women.

Victim blaming and slut shaming are common features of the rape culture, where after a woman

is raped, she is blamed for it and the society and sometimes, even the family brands it as her

fault. The length of her skirt, the color of her lipstick and the depth of her blouse decides whether

she is "asking for it".


If these things do not fit the 'appropriate' category, it is considered to be her fault. This has a very

negative repercussion on women. It affects their perceptions and how they view the male gender

as a whole. They are constantly suspicious of the intentions of all males and form a stereotypical

image of men in which they start viewing them as potential rapists. It also handicaps their

independence since they start fearing leaving the house.

Sexual objectification is also part of rape culture. Sexual objectification is the act of

treating a person merely as an instrument of sexual pleasure, making them a "sex object".

Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity an object, without regard

to their personality or dignity. Objectification is most commonly examined at the level of a

society, but can also refer to the behavior of individuals.

2.7 ROLE OF MEDIA

Media is a very important medium for broadcasting information to a large population and

when misused it can have a very negative impact. The influence of film industry is a strong

example of objectifying women in our society. It has almost become a norm to have an item song

performed by an item girl for a movie to get its publicity. Gender discrimination is a form of

discrimination that still exists in India. Although it may be more subtle than some other forms of

prejudice, gender inequality can have significant negative mental health effects. This is evident

when male actors get a higher salary in film industry, or how an actress is ostracized when she is

wearing revealing clothes as compared to an actor who happens to be shirtless.


In a recent case of India’s top newspaper Times of India making a post’s headline

“OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show" news story out of Deepika Padukone’s cleavage

revealing clothing has not gone down well with the actor. It has also invited sharp criticism from

the media as well as other netizens, particularly on social networking sites such as Twitter. To

which she replied , "Yes! I am a woman. I have breasts and a cleavage! You've got a problem!?"

She further said, "Don't talk about women empowerment when you don't know how to respect

women!". Women are usually portrayed and given a Barbie doll role with the characteristics:

attractive, submissive, meek in the film and television industry most of the time. But in the rare

cases where a woman gets to be on the front seat and run a show, as was the case in the movie

Mardaani where Rani Mukherjee's character Shivani Roy, a cop whose interest in the kidnap of a

teenage girl leads her to uncover secrets about human trafficking by an Indian mafia. She is

portrayed as an independent and strong character. However, to end on sad note, the movie's name

"Mardaani" brings out the hypocrisy by implying how 'manly' and 'masculine' it is to be a strong,

powerful and brave woman.

2.8 CURRENT STATUS OF WOMEN’S HEALTH

 Depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from

neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men.

 Leading mental health problems of the elderly are depression, organic brain

syndromes, and dementias. A majority are women.

 An estimated 80% of 50 million people affected by violent conflicts, civil wars,

disasters, and displacement are women and children

 Lifetime prevalence rate of violence against women ranges from 16% to 50%.

 At least one in five women suffers rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
III. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1 CONCLUSION

I therefore conclude that mental health in India is attached with strong social stigma

against it. Most people are still unaware or ignorant about the importance of mental wellbeing.

Terms such as 'pagal', 'mental' and 'crazy' should not be thrown around casually. Awareness of

mental health in general and that women in particular, should be spread even in the remote areas

of India where there are people who still hold the notions of spirits and demons when the

explanation lies in understanding of a mental health and illness.

The physiological changes women experience cannot be controlled but the way we deal

with that can be worked on. Women going through phases such menstruation, pregnancy or not

being able to conceive and menopause are biological changes that cannot be manipulated but

therapy can be used to help women cope with the stressors related to it.

In the role of family, a woman plays several roles that affect her mental health

differently. Confusion plays a major role in shaping and forming schemas about themselves and

the surroundings. It gives her a weak picture of herself that could result in her inferiority

complex which leads to the male dominance in the society and so this cycle. Her role as a mother

is considered the main purpose of her existence. Her identity is reflected in the fact that she

would one day get married and produce children. Women as well as men are recognizing and

giving an equal stature to women in all aspects, but still have a long way to go. There are

maternity leaves for women for a year during pregnancy and ranging from 6 months to 2 years

even after the birth of a child. This gives them job security and able them to aim for higher levels

in the management.
I can also conclude that lack of education, nutrition, exposure to knowledge, and other

important facilities also contributes in the ignorance and stigma that is attached with the mental

health. There is a strong need to eradicate poverty and create awareness of mental health,

especially in the remote and rural areas of India. Putting up posters is not enough, we need to

reach out and help with their everyday issues by putting up weakly camps where psychologists

listen and provide help to the people.

Although in the constitution, women have equal rights, India is a very patriarchal society.

Strong stereotypes that are gender specific exist. For example, when thinking of an 'ideal' family,

we have an image where the male goes for work and the woman's job is to take care of the home

and the family. Women have a specific code of conduct that the society expects them to follow,

which, if broken by them, has serious repercussions. The youth, however, is realizing these

strong ideologies need to change and that women are not to be treated as a commodity anymore.

I also conclude that rape culture in India induces lack of confidence in woman rather than

supporting the victim. We choose to practice victim blaming and slut shaming which shatters

their will power to fight against the wrong thus such response of the society which needs to be

changed now. It is very important to change the outlook of the society in such cases.

The role of media and how it portrays women influences the thinking and attitudes of the

entire country. The biggest problem here is how the media objectifies women. It is very

important to show that there are also women out there like Indira Gandhi, Kiran Bedi, Mary Kom

and although not India but even Malala Yousafzai who are strong female characters, instead of

women as living barbie dolls.


3.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

A.) CONVENTIONAL MEDIA

Making evidence-based mental health information easily available to journalists and

other content providers like internet portals from trusted and reliable sources like Indian

Psychiatry Society, research organizations, medical colleges, etc., through their websites is a

relatively simple step. Accessibility of simply translated jargon-free content in various regional

languages in written and spoken forms will go a long way. It also behoves professionals in the

mental health domain to take the lead in engaging and partnering with the media. Encouraging

recovered patients to make their success stories accessible to all shall make good the paucity of

authentic narratives.

B.) GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

Despite some caviling about the quantum, the government remains the biggest single

spender in the mental health sector. While most new interventions remain isolated and confined

to urban areas, it is only the public health system through large programs which can reach the

rural masses. Apart from the National and District Mental Health Programs, the National Rural

Health Mission is on its way to becoming the vehicle for delivering mental health as a part of

integrated primary care at the cutting edge of the public healthcare system. Seeing that it partners

with existing private and alternative care providers in a nonthreatening manner, shall help such

large interventions synergize and succeed.


C.) EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

Most chronic and debilitating mental illnesses have their onset before 24 years of age

when most are a part of the educational system. From including mental health narratives in

curricula toward, de-stigmatization, removing discrimination and early detection, to empowering

stakeholders for early detection and simple interventions; the educational system yields myriad

opportunities for enhancing mental health awareness.

D.) INDUSTRY

The organized sector suffers significant loss of effective workforce through mental ill-

health. Not only as a part of corporate social responsibility but also to maintain productivity, it

becomes important to engage with mental health awareness in a concerted fashion.

E.) INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA AND CELLPHONES

Hand-held devices and the social media can truly be game-changers in the propagation of

effective mental health interventions through focused amplification, and not just in increasing

information. With the greater utilization of big data, the understanding of subtle and distributed

patterns over large volumes shall inform decision making.

F.) CROWD-SOURCING

The ultimate convergence of information and technology in a free society results in

crowd-sourcing which breaks down barriers of geography, historical inequities, and economies

of scale. It is the true involvement of communities real and virtual, harnessed to make a change.

Crowd-funding is a successful model in testing radical ideas which flounder outside the

mainstream.
IV. REFERENCES

4.1 BIBLIOGRAPHY

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