Mental Health Treatment In India: Can Telepsychiatry Be The Solution To Wider Outreach For Mental Healthcare?

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Mental Health Treatment In India: Can Telepsychiatry Be The Solution To Wider Outreach For Mental Healthcare?
Mental Health Treatment In India: Can Telepsychiatry Be The Solution To Wider Outreach For Mental Disorders?

Dr. Kanishka Meel, Psychiatrist, spoke to TheHealthsite.com on destigmatising mental healthcare and the advantages of Telepsychiatry.

In India, mental health understanding as well as the accessibility of mental healthcare services are key concerns. Stigma and misunderstandings about mental illnesses prevent many people from seeking help. The statistics show that India has a severe deficit of mental health professionals with only about 0.3 psychiatrists and 0.12 psychologists per 100,000 population. As a result, there is an acute shortage in this sector, particularly in rural areas.

Dr. Kanishka Meel, Psychiatrist, Consults on Practo, spoke to TheHealthsite.com on destigmatising mental healthcare and the advantages of Telepsychiatry.

What Is Telepsychiatry?

Dr. Kanishka says that telepsychiatry is a hopeful answer for increasing access to psychological healthcare services in India. Developments in technology has made it possible for Telepsychiatry, allowing people to get psychiatric care remotely, which has broken down geographical barriers and provided more access to mental health workers. The Government of India is also making efforts through various programs such as the National Mental Health Program to bridge this gap and enhance access to care across the country.

De-Stigmatising Mental Healthcare In India

Dr. Kanishka Meel says, “Crushing stereotypes and decreasing stigmatization of mentally ill persons are important as this fosters more caregiving environment for those faced with psychological problems. In recent years, several studies have indicated that stigma and discrimination can badly harm an individual’s mental well-being leading to social isolation and refusal by them to solicit help from others. We still live in a time where someone seeking professional health for mental wellbeing is looked down upon by the whole society. There is discomfort within the family too, therefore the caregiver’s stress burden needs to be addressed as well.”

She also went on to say that, dependency on medications and shock therapy are some myths, which need to be broken to achieve a notion of looking at the mental health disorders the same way we look at physical illnesses like Diabetes, Hypertension, etc. Understanding that these illnesses are not self-made up but exist in a biological level in our body can help break these barriers.

Hence, awareness creation and support from communities can create an environment that supports those with mental disorders.



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