Bloomberg Quint - Mental Health and COVID19

Bloomberg Quint - Mental Health and COVID19

More Attention, No Institutional Mechanism

For every million people in India, there are just three psychiatrists, and even fewer psychologists, according to a 2015 WHO report. Mental health professionals discontinuing appointments during the lockdown compounded the problem for patients. Add to that the stress and anxiety from job losses, loan defaults, and the general uncertainty.

Covid 19 has exacerbated the environment for mental health patients who were underserved to begin with, Ashwin Naik, founder of Manah Wellness, said. But the lockdown has brought these issues front and centre and people are paying more attention to them, he said. Naik’s company has tied up with several NGOs to provide a mental health helpline—called ‘Let’s Talk’.

Various agencies have seen that there is a 20-30% increase in the number of calls and cases that have come to them. One of the big challenges we foresee is that this will not end with the lockdown—the impact of this will stick for months and years. Ashwin Naik, Founder, Manah Wellness

The maximum number of calls, he said, has come from two categories: small business owners and adolescents/young people, particularly those who are entering the job market for the first time.

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