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Dementia, substance abuse growing problems for India: Report

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

Only one in 10 Indians receives treatment for mental illness, even as the country, together with China, accounts for a third of the world's mental illnesses, according to a new report. The report says that in 2013, 36 million years of healthy life were lost to mental illness in China, and 31 million in India. By 2025 according to estimates, 39.6 million years of healthy life will be lost to mental illness in China (10 per cent increase), and 38.1 million in India (23 per cent increase).

The report is based on data from the 2013 Global Burden of Disease and will be published today in The Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry as the China-India Mental Health Alliance launches, during which experts from China and India will look into the status of mental health and mental health services in the two countries.

According to the report, substance use disorders are more common in men than women in both countries, and dementia is also a growing problem.

From 2012 to 2025, the number of healthy years lost to dementia will increase by 82 per cent in India (from 1.7 million to 3.2 million) and by 56 per cent in China (from 3.5 million to 5.4 million), according to The Indian Express.

Dr Vikram Patel, international mental health professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that most people with mental disorders in India and China do not receive treatment. India has 0·3 psychiatrists per 100,000 people, while in China, there are 1·7 psychiatrists per 100,000 people.

First published: 19 May 2016, 8:33 IST