South India has higher prevalence of mental disorders: study

News:India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative has released the first report on disease burden attributable to mental health from 1990.


Key Highlights of the report:

  • The study finds that roughly one in seven Indians or 197 million people suffered from mental disorders of varying severity in 2017.Among these,depression and anxiety disorders are the commonest mental disorders in India.
  • The contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden in India in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 4.7% in 2017.One DALY is at least one lost year of ‘healthy’ life.
  • The prevalence of mental disorders is increasing and is relatively higher in the southern states and in females.
  • The Southern states namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh accounted for a higher prevalence of mental disorders.

State wise Scenario

  • In its State-wise analysis,the study divides different States into three categories on the basis of their socio-demographic index(SDI) namely low, medium and high SDI States. 
  • The SDI is a composite measure of per-capita income, mean education, and fertility rate in women younger than 25 years and is calculated on a scale of one.
  • The prevalence of depressive disorders was highest in Tamil Nadu (loss of 836 years per 1 lakh population ) in the high SDI State group and Andhra Pradesh (loss of 793 years) in the middle SDI State group.
  • Anxiety disorders were found to be more common in Kerala (loss of 383 years per 1 lakh population) in the high SDI State group and Andhra Pradesh (loss of 328 years) in the middle SDI State group.

Additional information:

About Mental Healthcare Act,2017:

  • The Mental Health Care Act,2017 seeks to ensure the rights of the person with mental illness to receive care and to live a life with dignity.
  • The act says that every person shall have a right to access mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government.It also assures free treatment to those who are homeless or below the poverty line
  • The Act empowers people with mental illness to make an advance directive that states how he/she wants to be treated for the illness and who his/her nominated representative shall be.
  • It envisages the establishment of Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authority.
  • Further,the Act says that mentally ill person shall not be subjected to electro-convulsive therapy without the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia.Further, electroconvulsive therapy cannot be used on minors.
  • The act also decriminalizes Section 309 for suicide.It states that whoever attempts suicide will be presumed to be under severe stress and shall not be punished for it.