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Q. Issue of depression and absence of policy: Discuss the WHO’s report on the issue of depression in India.
Mar 01, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global health estimate on depression for 2015, there are over five crore Indians suffered from depression and over three crore others from anxiety disorders that year. The WHO report has raised alarm, as India does not have a strong policy on the issues like depression. 

Issues-

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. According to WHO more women are affected by depression than men and at its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2011 states that the government’s expenditure on mental health was only 0.06% of the total health budget. The country has only 0.301 psychiatrists per 100,000 people.
  • In India there is no insurance coverage for a person with a mental disorder. Similarly the proposed Mental Healthcare Bill 2013 is pending in parliament since long time. 

What can be done-?

  • Mental illness aspect is much broader than just mental disorder. There is need to include mental retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by sub-normality of intelligence. 
  • The government should frame strong national policy on the issue of depression and it must invest much needed money to tackle the challenges associated with the issue of depression.

Conclusion-

The WHO report on the issue of depression is cause to worry for government and public health department. In the current modern age due to heavy competition in all sectors the issue of depression is increasing. In this background government should take this issue seriously and frame strong national policy to address this issue.


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