World Mental Health Day: 64 percent Indians think stigma should be erased

A study by market research company Ipsos shows that India is beginning to take mental health seriously

Published: Oct 10, 2019 08:58:16 AM IST
Updated: Oct 10, 2019 07:27:45 PM IST

g_122155_bgshutterstock_727793281_280x210.jpgImage: Shutterstock
With World Mental Health day being observed across continents, Indians are taking big strides towards accepting the once-stigmatised mental health conditions, hoping to normalise it with illnesses such as the flu.

Currently, 64 percent of the Indians are of the view that the stigma associated with mental health issues should go and it should be treated like any other illness. Another 63 percent of Indians see reaching out to a therapist as a brave thing to do. The study was conducted by Ipsos, a global market research company.

The study shows that 75 percent of the Indian populace surveyed, give preference to their physical well-being. It states that the views are “quite divided around acceptance in society and attitude”.

"Indians are recognising that being healthy is a combination of both physical and mental well-being and both work in tandem. Also, it is alright to see a doctor for alleviating symptoms," says Monica Gangwani, executive director and country service line leader, healthcare, Ipsos India.

As per the survey, this is how mental health is viewed in India:

  • 45% Indians believe that both mental and physical health get equal footing in India
  • 30% believe physical health gets more emphasis over mental health
  • 17% believe mental health is given preference over physical health
  • 7% were undecided
  • 1% declined

About 44 percent urban Indians believe that most adults diagnosed with the mental health condition are likely to get better without the intervention of the doctor. Similarly, at least 42 percent of urban Indians believe that children diagnosed with mental health condition would get better in due course without the intervention of doctors; 31 percent seemed to disagree. 23 percent were neutral, 3 percent undecided and 1 percent refused to answer. 

The survey also explored areas that have a direct bearing on mental well-being, including relaxation, physical exercise, being outdoors, quality sleep, work-life balance, finances, home, neighbourhood, bond with family and friends, eating and drinking habits, a say in decision making, involvement in local activities and so on.

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