Mental health survey by NIMHANS

  • The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) is leading the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) with support from the Union Health Ministry

  • A team of nearly 60 experts from is busy monitoring the data collection in 12 States. The survey is on in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Manipur, Jharkand and West Bengal

Aim:

  1. To estimate the prevalence, patterns and burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders in a representative population of the country,
  2. identify treatment gaps and service utilisation patterns, and
  3. assess the current mental health resources
  • A pilot survey was conducted in the public health observatory in Kolar. The findings of the pilot study that covered 3,000 people would be released in February.
  • The pilot study helped NIMHANS to finalise the methodology for the final study. It covers not only the prevalence, patterns and burden of mental health but will also look at how to plan and utilise the available services and create the pathway for care

Significace

  • The survey would help the government plan interventions in the mental health care sector.
  • It will help not only in stepping up awareness on mental health, but also in creating facilities to treat people with mental health problems
  • The country’s mental health barometer, including services and facilities to treat and address the relative incidence of diseases, should be in place by April 2016.

Methodology

  • The survey has adopted a standard methodology used for psychiatric epidemiological surveys — randomised cluster sampling technique using ‘Probability Proportional to Size’ (PPS) methodology. Data is being collected using electronic handheld devices.
  • Several questionnaires (including socio-demographic proforma, a structured diagnostic interview schedule MINI, WHO-approved questionnaire on epilepsy, Intellectual Disability Screener, etc.,) are being used to collect the information on mental health problems.
  • Health care seeking, socio-economic and disability-related questions are involved in the survey
  • To map the services and systems for mental health care in the individual States, the survey teams are using a separate questionnaire developed and based on WHO Mental Health Atlas and WHO AIMS adapted to Indian systems.
  • Apart from imparting a two-month rigorous training for personnel deployed for the survey, team members from NIMHANS regularly review the progress using multiple methods, including online discussions and also make monthly visits to the States where the survey is on.
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