Around 70 per cent of patients consult experts only when they have reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional illness, a study has revealed.
The study, conducted by LISSUN- a mental and emotional wellness startup, surveyed more than 500 general physicians, psychiatrists, gynaecologists, nephrologists, and psychologists with the vision to identify and inform the general public regarding the mental health scenario in India.
The respondents who mainly hail from medical and healthcare backgrounds shared their observations in the present scenario through their responses to the survey, which revealed several hidden facts.
Friends Are The Initial Contact
The survey reinstated that conversation regarding mental health issues remains a stigma and needs attention. Surprisingly, 40 per cent of the respondents said that for individuals, their immediate friends are their initial contact when they face a mental or emotional health issue.
While only 20 per cent of the respondents said that patients approached their family first when they encountered emotional or mental trouble. Nearly 43 per cent of respondents expressed the concern that family usually is hesitant to help patients avail proper treatment or go for therapy, LISSUN shared with The Logical Indian.
While discussing one of the primary reasons for anxiety or depression, 62 per cent of the respondents believe that childhood bullying and abuse have a significant role to play in it. In addition, patients facing different physical challenges also experience underlying mental illness.
According to 65 per cent of respondents, people with infertility issues are most likely to be susceptible to mental health issues, followed by oncology with 60 per cent, and nephrology with 55 per cent.
The survey also highlighted the most common signs of mental health issues like constant lethargy, indigestion and sometimes continuous body ache, which otherwise go undetected.
COVID Increased Concerns About Mental Health
During the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns about mental illness have risen, and the report also suggests the same. A whopping 50 per cent of respondents express that there has been a significant 40-60 per cent increase in the number of mental illnesses post COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, 68 per cent of respondents think that working from their homes has contributed to many mental health problems. However, the grave concern revealed through the research is that a staggering 70 per cent of patients are at their advanced stage of mental illness when they get their diagnosis done.
"The survey has brought the real picture of mental health issues in India. Our aim to conduct this survey is to draw the sincere attention of the individuals towards this critical issue, which unfortunately almost always has been neglected," said Krishna Veer Singh, co-founder of LISSUN.
"The primary challenge is the awareness of people, where an individual is unable to take the very first step. If that is addressed, then the war is 50 per cent won", he added.
On a positive note, 42 per cent of the respondents said that post-COVID-19, society is more open to the idea of taking psychological counselling. However, 38 per cent of the respondents believe that the recent Tele-Mental Heath program initiated by the government would only benefit the urban population. The main reason for this could be that in non-urban areas, the priority is awareness so that people step forward and avail of the service in need.
Addressing Mental And Emotional Health In India
Launched on August 15, 2021, and headquartered in Gurugram, LISSUN is an organisation established to comprehensively address the mental and emotional health issues in a country like India. They aim to achieve this goal by solving the 6As of mental health: Awareness, Acceptance, Anonymity, Access, Affordability, and Assurance. The organisation was founded by two industry veterans Dr Krishna Veer Singh and Tarun Gupta, to provide people with the proper guidance, therapies, and solutions for their mental and emotional wellbeing in a world full of challenges.
The platform offers end-to-end care for mental health issues by focusing on delivering preventive care to millions by productizing or augmenting psychotherapies, in-house quality therapists, access to user communities, and an extensive self-help library.