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Higher budgetary allocation essential for effective mental health treatment: Experts

08 April 2017
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United News if Indias

New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) Underscoring the need for mental health services to cater for each district across the country, experts today emphasised on higher budgetary allocation by the Centre, as well as the state governments for an effective mental health treatment in the country. 

In a seminar entitled 'Depression: Let's talk about what we all should know', organised by NCR-based OP Jindal Global University, Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Prof (Dr) Sanjeev P Sahni said, ''Despite the overall health budget in 2017 being increased to Rs 48,878 crore (2.27 per cent of total Union Budget), the mental health budget was a meager 0.16 per cent of the health budget." 

Dr Sahni further highlighted the WHO figure, that five crore Indians were suffering from depression. 
''This WHO figure is a reality, but there is another reality of India having a total of only 898 clinical psychologists, 1 for every 13 lakh people and a total of 3800 psychiatrists, 1 for every 3,30,000. There is need for mental health services to be available in each district across the country and the essential drug list to be available free of cost in government hospitals.'' 

The seminar was an initiative of Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences (JIBS) to understand the mental and physical manifestations of depression and its effects on individuals and the society