Jammu and Kashmir is facing a mental health crisis with the cases of depression-related illnesses being almost double than inside India, said health experts.
The situation is compounded by inaccessible mental healthcare system. Experts said mental health services need to be expanded and integrated into the primary healthcare system to contain the growing number of people with mental illnesses — the most stigmatised health issue.
They said treatment gap is very high in Kashmir, where depressive and anxiety-related disorders constitute most of the mental illnesses.
“The 11.3 per cent morbidity of severe mental illness in adults is very high, almost double (than in India), much of which is undetected and untreated,” said a recent study conducted by psychiatrists of Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Kashmir, in collaboration with ActionAid India.
“Only 12.6 per cent of the people with mental illness sought help from health services and 6.4 per cent consulted a psychiatrist,” added the study.—KMS