NEW DELHI: As World Mental Health Day on October 10 approaches, a comprehensive pan-India survey conducted by the location-based social network Public App has unveiled that a staggering 90% of Indians attribute the surge in mental health issues to the relentless pace of modern life.
The survey, which garnered responses from over 4.5 lakh individuals, also shed light on a positive trend - a growing willingness to engage in open conversations about mental health. Remarkably, 55% of the respondents acknowledged feeling comfortable discussing mental health challenges with friends and family.
"The significant number of respondents citing the fast-paced lifestyle as the cause of rising mental health concerns underscores the importance of maintaining work-life balance and effectively managing stress. Concurrently, the survey indicates that 55% of respondents are increasingly receptive to discussing mental health issues, thereby contributing to the reduction of associated stigma," read the survey report.
Despite this openness to dialogue, the survey revealed that only 14.66% of respondents sought some form of counseling or therapy for their mental health concerns. Furthermore, it highlighted that a mere 11% of participants were aware of 'Kiran,' the government's 24X7 toll-free mental health rehabilitation helpline, suggesting the need for wider promotion of this valuable resource.
The survey also indicated a growing interest among respondents in mental health topics and policies, with nearly 53% admitting to seeking out and reading content related to mental health. This finding underscores a genuine desire among the public to comprehend and address mental health challenges.
In terms of policy awareness, approximately 41% of respondents were aware that all health insurance policies in India are now mandated to include mental health coverage. This change came about in 2022 when the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) mandated mental health treatment coverage within healthcare insurance plans.
Regarding coping mechanisms for mental stress, the survey identified various activities embraced by respondents. The most common activities included listening to music (43%), meditation (19%), sports (17%), reading (15%), and yoga (6%). These activities reflect the diverse strategies individuals employ to manage and alleviate mental stress in their lives.