China, India Face Huge Mental Health Burden: Study

China, India Face Huge Mental Health Burden: Study

China and India are home to more than a third of people with mental illness, but only a tiny fraction of them receive medical help, according to studies released Wednesday.

There are more people in the world’s two most populous nations coping with mental, neurological and substance use problems than in all high-income countries combined, the research found.

That burden will become much heavier in coming decades, especially in India, where it is projected to increase by a quarter by 2025.

China, meanwhile, will struggle with the rapid rise of dementia in its greying population, a by-product in part of strict birth control policies put in place more than 35 years ago.

Neither country is adequately equipped to deal with their mental health needs, according the trio of reports, published in medical journal The Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry to mark the launch of the China-India Mental Health Alliance.

In China, only six percent of people coping with common mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders, or with substance abuse and dementia, even seek out a doctor, researchers found.

“The lack of mental health manpower in rural areas” is especially acute, explained Michael Phillips, one of the lead authors and a professor at Emory University in Atlanta and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

More than half of those with full-blown psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are not diagnosed, much less cared for, he said in a statement… Read More>>

Source: Medical Xpress

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