Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Mental Health Problem and effective policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : Strategy for better mental health policy

Mental Health


  • The fifth Global Mental Health Summit, co-sponsored by over half a dozen organisations engaged with mental health, was held in Chennai to discuss mental health in the context of human rights, ethics and justice. Highlighting the importance of mental health, it gave a call for action against the continued neglect by society at large and the governments at central and state levels, in particular.

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Findings of national mental health survey

  • The National Mental Health Survey (NMHS): The latest National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO, was published in 2016.
  • Prevalence of mental disorder: According to the survey, the prevalence of mental disorders among adults in India is around 10.6%. The most common disorders were anxiety disorders (7.3%) and mood disorders (4.5%).
  • Higher among women than men: The survey also found that the prevalence of mental disorders was higher among women than men, and that the majority of people with mental disorders did not receive any treatment.
  • Prevalence of mental disorders is higher in urban areas: It also found that the prevalence of mental disorders was higher in urban areas than in rural areas, and that there was a higher prevalence of mental disorders among people with lower levels of education and income.
  • Gap in treatment coverage for people with mental disorder : The survey highlighted that there is a significant gap in treatment coverage for people with mental disorders, and that the majority of people with mental disorders do not receive any treatment.
  • Plan for mental health: The survey has provided an important information for Indian government and mental health professional to plan and implement mental health programs and policies in the country.

Mental Health

What constitutes good policy making on mental health?

  • Policy should be based on research and findings: Policies should be based on sound research and evidence from scientific studies. This helps to ensure that policies are effective in addressing mental health issues and are not based on assumptions or stereotypes.
  • Active engagement of stakeholders: Policy making should involve a wide range of stakeholders, including people with lived experience of mental health issues, mental health professionals, and representatives from relevant government departments and non-governmental organizations.
  • A comprehensive and integrated approach: Mental health policies should be comprehensive and address a wide range of issues, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. They should also be integrated with other policies, such as those related to education, housing, and employment.
  • Ensure easy access to mental health care: policies should ensure that people have access to appropriate and affordable mental health care, including both medication and psychosocial therapies.
  • Public awareness and Sensitization : policies should ensure that people with mental health issues are treated with dignity and respect, and that their human rights are protected.

Case study: How India tackled HIV/AIDS?

  • Active surveillance system: The need for crafting strategic interventions based on epidemiological evidence from an active surveillance system.
  • Modelling different options: The importance of modelling different options of addressing the wide array of interventions required in different geographies, among different target groups, to provide the data related to cost effectiveness as well as efficacy of the interventions required for scaling up.
  • Proactive advocacy of systemic issues among all influencers: The proactive advocacy of systemic issues among all influencers the media, judiciary, politicians, police and other intersectoral departments whose programmes and activities have had a direct bearing on the key populations being worked on.
  • Community engagement: The use of peer leaders and civil society that was allocated over 25 per cent of the budget. Though a central sector programme was fully funded by the central government, every intervention was formulated with active participation and dialogue among the states and constituencies of local leaders.

Mental Health

Strategy for better implementation of mental health policy

  • Clear goals and objectives: Having clear and measurable goals and objectives can help to ensure that policies are implemented effectively and that progress can be tracked.
  • Training and capacity building: Providing training and capacity building for mental health professionals, as well as for other relevant stakeholders such as community leaders, can help to ensure that policies are implemented effectively.
  • Community engagement: Involving communities in the planning and implementation of mental health policies can help to ensure that policies are responsive to the specific needs and priorities of local populations.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: Regularly monitoring and evaluating the implementation of policies can help to identify any barriers or challenges, and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Multi-sectoral approach: Adopting a multi-sectoral approach that involves collaboration between different sectors, such as health, education, social welfare, housing, and employment can help to ensure that policies are implemented in a coordinated and effective manner.
  • Policy flexibility: Policies should be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances, and be responsive to feedback and suggestions from the community and stakeholders.

latest research in mental health domain

  • The growing recognition of the importance of early intervention in mental health: Research has shown that early intervention can prevent mental health issues from becoming more severe, and can help individuals to recover more quickly.
  • The use of technology in mental health: There has been an increase in the use of technology, such as mobile apps, virtual reality, and teletherapy, to deliver mental health care. Studies have shown that these technologies can be effective in improving mental health outcomes.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health: The pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, and research has been conducted to understand the extent of the impact and to develop strategies to mitigate it.
  • Advancements in brain imaging and genetics: Researchers are using brain imaging techniques and genetic studies to gain a better understanding of the underlying causes of mental disorders and to develop more effective treatments.
  • The use of personalized medicine in mental health: There is growing interest in the use of personalized medicine, which involves using genetic and other information to tailor treatment to the individual patient, to improve mental health outcomes.
  • The benefits of nature-based interventions for mental health: Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on mental health, including reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • The importance of social determinants of mental health: Research has highlighted the importance of social determinants such as poverty, education, and social support in mental health.
  • The importance of addressing mental health in the workplace: Studies have highlighted the impact of workplace stress and burnout on mental health and the importance of workplace interventions to promote mental well-being.

Do you know Neuralink?

  • Neuralink is a gadget that will be surgically inserted into the brain using robotics. In this procedure, a chipset called the link is implanted in the skull.
  • Neuralink can be used to operate encephalopathy. It can also be used as a connection between the human brain and technology which means people with paralysis can easily operate their phones and computer directly with their brain.

Mental Health


  • Mental health problems and not related to age of persons. From children to old age all can suffer from this menace. Government of the must formulated, implement the effective, resulted oriented mental health policy as earliest as possible

Mains Question

Q. What factors need to be taken care while drafting sound mental health policy? Suggest a strategy for better implementation of metal health policy.

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