New Delhi, August 23, 2013: There are no long term population based studies in India to suggest that the number of cases of depression and consumption of antidepressant drugs are increasing in the country. However, as per a study conducted simultaneously at 11 centres in India, it was determined that the chance of an individual developing an episode of depression during the life time was 9% (life time prevalence). The study also revealed that the chance of developing an episode of major depression at any point of time in any 12 month period is 4.5% (period prevalence). 

Health being a State subject, the details of number of people suffering from depression, state-wise/UT wise are not centrally maintained in this Ministry. However, no single factor can be attributed for depression. Depression can be caused under a variety of circumstances such as genetic, biological, psychosocial and other stress related situations like marital stress, unemployment, profession related stress etc. 

To address the huge burden of mental disorders, the Government of India has introduced the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in the country since 1982. A total of 123 districts in 30 States/ UTs have been covered under the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) to provide detection, management and treatment of mental disorders/ illness. With the objective to address the shortage of mental health professionals in the country, 11 Centres of Excellence in Mental Health and 27 PG training departments in mental health specialties to increase the PG training capacity in mental health as well as improving the tertiary care treatment facility have been funded. Besides, three Central Institutions viz. National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, LokpriyaGopinathBordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur and Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi have been strengthened for augmenting the human resources in the area of mental health and for capacity building in the country. During the 11th Five Year Plan, the National Mental Health Programme has been restructured to include additional components like suicide prevention services, work place stress management, life skills training and counselling in schools and colleges. It also provides for upgradation of Psychiatry wings of Govt. Medical Colleges/ General Hospitals, modernization of State run Mental Hospitals, support for Central/ State Mental Health Authorities, Research and Training and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities. 

The Information, Education and Communication activities are integral part of NMHP to generate awareness among the masses towards mental illness. Awareness messages in local newspapers and radio, street plays, wall paintings etc. are the different IEC activities that are organized under DMHP. 

This information was given by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare ShriGhulamNabi Azadin written reply to a question in the LokSabha yesterday.  — CCI Newswire