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National Health Mission

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

National Mental Health Programme (NMHP)

It is estimated that 6-7 % of population suffers from mental disorders. The World Bank report (1993) revealed that the Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) loss due to neuropsychiatric disorder is much higher than diarrhea, malaria, worm infestations and tuberculosis if taken individually. Together these disorders account for 12% of the global burden of disease (GBD) and an analysis of trends indicates this will increase to 15% by 2020 (World Health Report, 2001). One in four families is likely to have at least one member with a behavioral or mental disorder (WHO 2001). These families not only provide physical and emotional support, but also bear the negative impact of stigma and discrimination. Most of them (>90%) remain un-treated. Poor awareness about symptoms of mental illness, myths & stigma related to it, lack of knowledge on the treatment availability & potential benefits of seeking treatment are important causes for the high treatment gap. The Government of India has launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982, with the following objectives:

  • To ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all in the foreseeable future, particularly to the most vulnerable and underprivileged sections of the population;
  • To encourage the application of mental health knowledge in general healthcare and in social development; and
  • To promote community participation in the mental health service development and to stimulate efforts towards self-help in the community.

The District Mental Health Program (DMHP) was launched under NMHP in the year 1996 (in IX Five Year Plan). The DMHP was based on ‘Bellary Model’ with the following components:

  • Early detection & treatment.
  • Training: imparting short term training to general physicians for diagnosis and treatment of common mental illnesses with limited number of drugs under guidance of specialist. The Health workers are being trained in identifying mentally ill persons.
  • IEC: Public awareness generation.
  • Monitoring: the purpose is for simple Record Keeping.