As an ambitious campaign kicks off, looking for concerned stakeholders to advocate for access to mental healthcare and support in India using a rights based approach, we shared three quick questions with Dr Soumitra Pathare (@netshrink), Coordinator, Centre for MH Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, to understand the importance of this initiative.
A large number of persons with mental health problems in our country do not have access to mental healthcare and social care support, primarily because the Government has not prioritised mental healthcare. Hence this campaign is a way of reminding Governments, politicians and policymakers of the importance of addressing mental health in our country.
2) What do you think will move the needle on Mental Healthcare in India?
We need to talk more about it, we need to advocate for it, we need to address the discrimination faced by persons with mental health problems, and we need policy makers to give mental health the importance it deserves. We need action on the ground and not just platitudes. This means increasing the availability of services, tackling discrimination in law and policy, and correcting the severe underfunding of mental health in our country.
3) For people who don’t think that mental health and illness and treatment needs to be a priority, what would your message be? Ie, Why should people care?
One in four of us are likely to have a mental health problem in our life-time. Tomorrow, it could be you or one of your friends or family who develops a mental health problem. So be a bit selfish – do it for yourself!!