Suicide is now the leading cause of death amongst the youth - Seeker's Thoughts

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Suicide is now the leading cause of death amongst the youth


Lancet Commission on Mental Health

The global burden of disease due to mental disorders has risen in all countries in the context of major demographic, environmental, and sociopolitical transitions. 

Human rights violations and abuses persist in many countries, with large numbers of people locked away in mental institutions or prisons, or living on the streets, often without legal protection.

The Economic Cost- In terms of healthcare costs, lost productivity, etc, Lancet estimates a massive economic toll exacted by mental illness from the global economy—of nearly $16 trillion by 2030.

In 2016, the Economist Intelligence Unit had estimated that, by 2030, mental illness could knock off $11 trillion from the Chinese and Indian GDP taken together

Mental Health Service Quality is worse than Physical Health

 The quality of mental health services is routinely worse than the quality of those for physical health. Government investment and development assistance for mental health remain pitifully small. Collective failure to respond to this global health crisis results in monumental loss of human capabilities and avoidable suffering. 

Sustainable Development Goal and WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan

A historic opportunity exists to reframe the global mental health agenda in the context of the broad conceptualisation of mental health and disorder envisioned in the SDGs. This opportunity is supported by the passing of WHO's Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, the ratification of international conventions protecting the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities, the convergence of evidence from diverse scientific disciplines on the nature and causes of mental health problems, the ubiquitous availability of digital technology, and the growing consensus among diverse stakeholders about the need for action and what this action should look like. 

Global Data

Mental disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and will cost the global economy $16 trillion by 2030, according to a new Lancet Commission report on mental health released on Tuesday. It exposes a “collective failure to respond to this global health crisis,” causing long-lasting and preventable harm to people, communities and economies.

India and Mental Health – The Challenges

The number of Psychiatrist per 100,000 Population is low compared with other  countries like Brazil, China or United States.  

Even though India’s Mental Healthcare Act 2017 is one of the most progressive legislations on mental health globally—it entitles people with mental illnesses to access comprehensive medical and social care from public health apart from safeguarding their other rights—on ground, mental health doesn’t seem a priority at all.

The findings of the just released report of Lancet Commission on Mental Health the bring India’s problem into even starker relief.

In a country where nearly 7% of the population suffers from mental-health afflictions, 80% of those with mental or substance-use disorders don’t undergo any treatment for this.

By 2020, estimates are, 20% of the Indian population will be suffering from some form of mental illness or the other.

This means India’s share will be much larger than many comparator economies.

Inadequate Policies

The policy response has been sporadic and inadequate. As a result, thousands of mentally ill persons are left without recourse—living under conditions of extreme insecurity, with under-nutrition and violations of their human rights rife. To treat such appalling neglect, the government needs to start with making mental health services a key part of universal health coverage. The Lancet Commission report says for many mental health indicators, India’s showing is on a par with some of the worst globally.

Building treatment facilities

Realising the vision, however, will require substantial investment in increasing the strength of mental healthcare professionals and building treatment facilities.

Implementing the Policies

The implementation lacks in practical way, so it should be certain that policies should be implemented well.

Suicide is the leading Cause of the death among the Youth

Suicide is now the leading cause of death amongst the youth while WHO data shows that every 6th Indian suffers from depression, making it the most depressed country in the world.