Title: Interventions for prevention of psychiatric disorders in the community in India
Introduction: One of the primary goals of the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is to reduce the burden associated with mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders. About 450 million people suffer from mental and behavioral disorders worldwide. The National Mental Health Survey of India-2016 conducted on a nationally representative sample of 34802 individuals, which were sampled from 12 states of India. The results show the prevalence rate for any mental disorder is 10.6% and nearly 150 million Indians are in need of active interventions. There are a number of mental disorders that can be prevented.
Content: There is a wide range of evidence-based preventive programmes available for implementation. These have been found to reduce risk factors, strengthen protective factors and decrease psychiatric symptoms and disability and the onset of some mental disorders. They also improve positive mental health, contribute to better physical health and generate social and economic benefits. Effective prevention can help in reducing stigma, discrimination, and human rights violations associated with mental disorders. In many developing countries informal community-care providers are the main source of mental health provision. They are usually accessible and generally well accepted in local communities. They can help with the integration of people with mental disorders into the community, and thus play an important supportive role to formal mental health services.
Conclusion: A very important part of the thinking of mental health services at primary, secondary and tertiary levels is to use the wide variety of human resources in the community for mental health care. The need of the hour is to translate advances in our understanding of mental illness into effective intervention programmes for the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of positive mental health.