Plan Special Needs

For our family well-being mental health is important at various stages of our life. From childhood to adolescence mental health determine how we make our decisions especially when we are stressed. Mental health affects our social well-being. How we are going deal with our life problems, emotionally and psychology, emanates from our mental health.

Mental Health Just Got a Push in Budget 2022- Jitendra PS Solanki

Whenever we experience mental heath issues then it changes our behavior completely. Our interaction with our family members, friends, relatives and people gets changed due to this. Mental health issue can arises due to various reasons- biological, own life experiences and family history.

Mental health has affected many people and have changed their life completely. Post covid-19 we are seeing this issue in children and young peoples.

Unicef Study 2021 on Mental Health

A study was conducted by Unicef in 2021 which highlighted mental health status and the need of addressing it now.

Study Facts –

“Around 14 per cent of 15 to 24-year-olds in India, or 1 in 7, reported often feeling depressed or having little interest in doing things. According to data from UNESCO, over 286 million children up to grade 6 were out of school in India between 2020-2021.  UNICEF’s rapid assessment in 2021 found that only 60 per cent could access digital classrooms. Many would not be able to continue their education.

According to the latest available estimates, more than 1 in 7 adolescents aged 10–19 is estimated to live with a diagnosed mental disorder globally. Of these, South Asia had the highest numbers of adolescents with mental disorders, according to the report.

In India, children with mental health disorders are mostly undiagnosed and hesitant in seeking help or treatment. According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019, even before the pandemic, at least 50 million children in India were affected with mental health issues; 80 – 90 per cent have not sought support.

Meanwhile, wide gaps persist between mental health needs and mental health funding. India has spent only 0.05 percent of its health budget annually on mental health, according to Indian Journal of Psychiatry 2017”.

Source: Unicef Mental Health Study 2021

This study highlights why mental health is such an important issue now. A country with a high population  managing increased cases of mental health will be difficult if the issues are not addressed now. The pandemic might have just hit the red button to bring government focus towards it.

One of the reason for growing mental health concern is lack of health infrastructure. India has not built a proper infrastructure to address mental health problems at a large scale. Covid 19 have rightly put in front this gap. Concerned now government has made a provision in Budget 2022 for addressing mental health issue timely.

Let’s understand what’s the provision is all about and what lies in the future-

Budget 2022 and Mental Health

Budget 2022 brought the provision of setting up a national tele mental health programme in India. This programme will offer counselling on mental health issues. It’s a welcome move considering the increase in cases related to mental health and there is wide need of counselling. More details on this will come soon.

How it will work?

The programme will be managed by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIHMANS) Bangalore. The institute will be the nodal center of this programme. The institute of Information and Technology (IIT) Bangalore will provide all technological support for the programme. There will be 23 centers in total to be set up under this programme.

Who will benefit?

The statistics shows the increase in mental health issues even among the young generations. However, India lack a good infrastructure to provide accessible counselling and tele medicines reaching to rural areas. The provision in budget 2022 will provide this accessibility now. Receiving a good counselling and treatment at the right time is critical to deal with mental health problems. The availability of mental health counselling when needed will bridge lot many gaps.

Good news for Startups

Though government has announced this provision there are some startups already working in this space. Below are few of the startups and Budget 2022 is a boon to them since it will help in increasing awareness towards mental illness.

List of startups –

  1. Wysa
  3. Work in Progress
  4. Mom’s Belief
  5. in
  6. Lissun

All these startups are doing a wonderful job in the area of mental illness. The technology is helping to increase accessibility and budget provision of setting up tele health centre has just come at the right time. This provision will help these startups to gain more foothold and help many other individuals who are dealing with mental health issues.

My Views

Mental health is a larger issue now and it impact lives. Our health infrastructure was not sufficient to deal with this issue especially after pandemic. The budget 2022 focus on this is a highly commendable and will increase awareness among us to take the right step if any of us or family members go through mental health illness. Add to it the companies who are working on mental health issues the ground for the path towards a healthy India has just being laid.

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