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India Readies to Fight Mental Health ‘Epidemic’

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Brain - Sputnik International
Taking a serious note on impending mental health issues, the Indian government has approved the establishment of a National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) in its central state of Madhya Pradesh.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The institute will be first of its kind in the country which according to some estimates has more than 100 million people struggling with mental health problems.

NIMHR will be a world-class center for treatment and rehabilitation in the area of mental health building and in the area of mental health rehabilitation, a government press release said.

"India is facing a possible mental health epidemic" Indian president Ram Nath Kovind said in a function early this year while warning that the country is facing a complex situation considering the shortage of mental health professionals and the gap needs to be addressed immediately.

Indian President Kovind pointed out that there were just about 5,000 psychiatrists and less than 2,000 clinical psychologists in the country while nearly 10% of Indians suffer from some type of mental health disorder.

READ MORE: India May Be Staring at a Potential Mental Health Crisis

An eminent expert working in the field of mental health has welcomed the government's initiative but also pointed out that this step should have been taken much earlier. 

"The number of people affected by mental illness is equal to the population of Japan which is around more than 100 million and the professionals in the field are abysmal and it's a very sorry state. It's a late decision but a very apt decision. We can only hope that this will improve the situation," Dr. Binu of NIMHANS Bangalore told Sputnik.

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