Unemployment in the field of Psychology

Unemployment in the field of Psychology

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Nandani Agarwal started this petition to Indian Government

As stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 90 million Indians - which equates to approximately 7.5% of the population - suffer from issues regarding mental health. Mental health is also one the leading causes of non-fatal disease burden in India. Furthermore, one out of every seven Indians is impacted by mental health issues, and in 2016, suicide was one of primary causes of death between the ages of 15 to 39.

However, while mental health is plaguing the country, the government has done little to address the issue, especially in terms of the amount of money it allocates this cause. In FY2018, the budget given to the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) was Rs. 50 crore, and in FY2019, this amount was reduced to Rs. 40 crore. In FY2020, this amount was not increased. When considering the amount of members in mental health faculty, India has 9000 psychiatrists, which is approximately one doctor for every 100 000 people, whereas WHO recommends three doctors for every 100 000 people.

Addressing the issue of mental health is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic, due to the rising rates of unemployment and the large amount of people in self-isolation. A prominent reason for the rise in mental health cases is the social stigma surrounding it. Depression and anxiety are not considered to be serious ailments, and widely dismissed due to the highly inaccurate misconception that patients suffering from such issues can simply "get over it." It has also been reported that some are likely to even avoid those suffering from mental health issues. The treatment of mental health as a taboo leads to a vicious cycle of shame and isolation, abandoning sufferers when they most need help. Such social problems need immediate attention as they can interfere with seeking help and adherence to treatment.

Societal beliefs, attitudes and responses decide many aspects of mental health care. People with mental illness are members of society, and the social environment is an important determinant of outcome. If the social environment is favourable, it contributes to recovery and reintegration. However, if it is negative, it can reinforce stigma and discrimination. Efforts to enhance the involvement of local communities could include disseminating accurate information about mental disorders and using community resources for specific initiatives, such as volunteers in suicide prevention and collaboration with traditional healers. Shifting care from institutions to the community itself can alter community attitudes and responses, and help people with mental illness lead a better life.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare must also take some administrative and structural actions to best address this crisis, particularly through the method of community-based mental health care. Mental health care should not only be local and accessible but should also be able to address the multiple needs of individuals. It should largely aim at empowerment and use efficient treatment techniques which enable people with mental disorders to enhance their self-help skills, incorporating the informal family social environment as well as formal support mechanisms. Community-based care (unlike hospital-based care) is able to identify resources and create healthy alliances that would otherwise remain unknown and inactivated.

While these structural and financial gaps need to be addressed, it is important that members of our society realise the power they have. One must not stigmatise or discriminate against the victims, but rather, provide a communal support system in order to ensure that no one has to battle such issues alone. 

Proposed Solutions:

1. Increase the Mental Healthcare Budget

2. Put a wage floor and ceiling restriction

3. Unemployment Allowance

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