Our agenda is to change the equation. The ‘Bridge the Care Gap’ campaign makes a strong appeal to policymakers, politicians, civil society and other stakeholders to shift to a rights-based approach to mental health, by implementing India’s Mental Health Care Act and National Mental Health Policy.
Our well-being includes both physical and mental health. However, well-being is determined by multiple factors, and it is well-established that marginalized segments of society are far more vulnerable to poor mental health. Marginalization can arise on account of poverty, caste-based discrimination, violence, belonging to a sexual minority, or other issues. The WHO estimates 1 in 4 people worldwide are affected by a mental health problem once in their lifetime.
We are under-resourced when it comes to mental health, the government only spends 0.06% of its health budget on mental healthcare. We lack mental health care that is available, accessible, affordable, and of good quality. Given the lack of mental healthcare professionals, we need innovative solutions to address the treatment gap in our country.
The newly passed Mental Health Care Act (2017) is a progressive act written with a rights-based approach. However, without its implementation, people with mental health issues will continue to struggle and remain at the margins of the society. The National Mental Health Policy (2014) is based on equity, justice, integrated and evidence-based care. It calls for recognition of mental disorders and a more accessible, participatory and holistic approach to mental health. We need effective implementation of the Law and Policy to ensure complete inclusion and participation of people living with mental illnesses.
If you believe that we need to implement the present mental health Law and Policy that has been passed by our State, then please sign this petition. Your signature shows that as a citizen, you are concerned about the neglect towards mental health, and that mental health should be prioritised for the development of India.
We need our voices to be heard.
This is the right time to intervene and make a difference in the lives of millions of people affected by psychosocial disabilities. Your signature will let Indian leaders know that mental health matters to you.
Although the country has a suicide rate of 10 in every 100,000 people — it has an extreme shortage of mental health workers — as low as one mental health professional for 100,000 people.
Mental health has been historically ignored in the political agenda in India. Despite the high incidence of mental health problems, the focus of the State has been centred on a ‘medical’ model of care with a focus on medication and institutionalisation.
Persons with mental illness who require mental health care either do not have accessible services, or those receiving services cannot access quality care that is affordable, easily available, and acceptable.
We would like to raise the political will to bridge the care gap in the vulnerable and marginalised sector of mental health. This is the right time to intervene and make a difference in the lives of millions of people affected by psychosocial disabilities. I invite all of you to come join us in this nation wide campaign to prioritise mental health.