Rural Mental Health Care and Krsh

Rural Mental Health Care and Krsh

Introduction

Around 65% of the population of the second-most populous country, India, resides in rural areas [1]. And, it is a common myth that rural life is calm and satisfying compared to urban life. Researchers conclude that there is a darker side of rural life filled with mental illness, and unfortunately, it is mostly disregarded and remains undiagnosed [2].

Mental Health Status Across India

 

Mental health illness constitutes one-sixth of all health-related disorders. The National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) estimated that around 150 million Indians need care for mental disorders, and about 10% suffer from common mental disorders (CMD) such as anxiety, depression, emotional stress, suicide risk and also alcohol and drug use [3]. Surprisingly the treatment gap for mental disorders in the country ranges from 70 to 92 per cent for different disorders [3]. This means that only 10 to 30 per cent of those with mental illnesses get the required treatment. The mental health condition in rural India is more severe. And may worsen further if adequate measures are not taken.

Challenges in Rural Mental Health Care

 

There are numerous factors that are responsible for increasing mental illness in rural areas like [4, 5, 6, 7]:

1)     Poor services

2)     Stigma and taboos

3)     Changing values and lifestyle

4)     Frequent disruptions in income

5)     Crop failure

6)     Family disputes

7)     Economic crisis

8)     Natural calamity (flood and drought)

9)     Lack of social support and increasing insecurity

10)  Unemployment 

The rural area has a more genuine and serious problem than the urban area which is the lack of mental health services. Some of the obstacles in the provision of mental health care services are:

1) Affordability – Mental health treatment requires consistent intervention over months or years and around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per month is required for accessing mental healthcare as per NMHS [3], which is far too much for villagers with all-India rural income of around Rs. 8,000-10,000 [8].

2) Availability – The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends at least 3 psychiatrists per 100,000 people in a country. But India barely has 0.75 which is way lower than most countries [9]. While in the rural area there are only 0.2 psychiatrists, 0.05 psychiatric nurses, 0.26 mental health beds, 0.03 psychologists per 100,000 people, and 0.26 mental health beds per 10,000 [10].

3) Accessibility – Even if some mental health care centres and professionals are available, they are located far away making it impractical for villagers to go there frequently for treatment. Also, most rural people can’t easily access telehealth services as 70% of the population have poor or no connectivity to access digital services [11].

4) Acceptability – There is an astonishingly high level of stigma surrounding mental health in rural areas [12]. This stops people from accepting their mental health illness and further seeking help. There is an immense lack of understanding and knowledge, a lot of prejudices, and wrong perceptions regarding mental health among rural people.

Krsh Mission and Vision

Krsh Welfare Foundation with a vision to make a happy and fit world is willing to sort out these problems with the “Adopt a Village” program. This program’s mission is to: 

1) Improve the mental and physical (aspects related to mental health) well-being of rural people 

2) Provide quality and scientific well-being services 

3) Help them live a stress-free, meaningful, productive, and happy life 

4) Reduce the economic burden on them 

5) Break stigmas and taboos related to mental health 

6) Improve their overall quality of life 

7) Reduce physical health problems caused by mental illness like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc. 

8) Treat substance abuse and common mental health problems 

9) Provide care and support to families of those suffering from mental illness 

10)  Support the growth of the village and nation 

 

Krsh Unique Solution Model

We have planned to achieve these breakthroughs with our holistic, multi-disciplinary and quality services, which we will provide free of cost for the villagers. Services will include:  

1) Door-to-door campaign for psychological and physiological assessment which will be tied to KYC 

2) Mass programs for villagers by experts 

3) Family counselling, one-to-one counselling, group counselling and psychotherapies 

4) 12-month wellness progress card

5) Counseling of teenagers after parents’ consultation  

6) Personalized solutions to mental and physical health problems 

7) 24 months trackable wellbeing program 

 

 

Our model is special because unlike other “Adopt a Village” campaigns that last for 3 to 6 months, we run it for 24 months. Other campaigns are shorter as most of them focus on physical aspects of life which can be noticed and verified faster than psychological and physiological changes. Changes in mental health conditions, happiness and satisfaction levels, job performance, quality of life, interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, etc. can only be accurately measured after 1-2 years. 

Concluding Remarks

Though the majority of the Indian population resides in the rural area yet adequate attention to their mental health is not given. There is an urgent need to provide accessible, reliable, and affordable mental health care services to rural people. To help in breaking the stigma and improve the mental health condition of rural India, Krsh Welfare Foundation has come up with a unique solution model, “Adopt a Village”. 

Bringing mental wellness services to rural areas of India is a herculean effort but we are willing to responsibly take the job to bell the cat and provide effective mental wellness services to rural households through this powerful campaign.

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