CHENNAI: For effective policies on mental health, availability of data is one of the key requirements. And to make this available, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) is set to release a final report of the National Mental Health Survey for Tamil Nadu.
The ongoing survey, which began in June last year, is in the final stage. As many as 3,338 people with mental problems were interviewed for the survey, including adolescents and children. It will be released in another three months, said Dr Gururaj, principal investigator, NIMHANS.
“Mental health is as important as other health problems, but the majority of people with mental health problems were reluctant to discuss it during the survey, because of stigmatisation,” said Dr V Sathish Raghavan, co-principal investigator.
According to Dr Gururaj, the survey will be helpful in policy-making. The Centre is in need of strong, quality scientific data to make policy decisions on mental health. This has been lacking for decades, he said.
The survey found that a majority of people were reluctant to discuss suicidal tendencies and alcohol dependence. J Radhakrishnan, State health secretary claimed that about 80% of mental health problems could be solved through counselling, only 20% needed primary centre care and only 3% needed a psychiatrist. The 104 helpline service helped cut down suicides, he added.