National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-16: Prevalence, Patterns and Outcomes
This is the second of a tripartite report by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, in alliance with 15 institutions from across India. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, government of India. It covers 12 Indian states (and 34,802 individuals) and aims to be a nationally representative survey on mental health issues. Females comprised 52.3 per cent of all respondents in the survey.
These were the 12 states covered: Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (north), Tamil Nadu and Kerala (south), Jharkhand and West Bengal (east), Rajasthan and Gujarat (west), Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (central India), and Assam and Manipur (north-east).
The report says that nearly 15 per cent of adults in India require treatment for one or more mental health disorders. Yet, most state governments allocate less than 1 per cent of their budget to mental health.
This Part II of the report, examines
the prevalence of mental health disorders in India and aims to identify
existing treatment gaps, patterns of seeking healthcare and utilising services, and the type and impact of mental
The survey finds that nearly 15 per cent of those aged over 18 years need active intervention for one or more mental health issues.
The ‘lifetime morbidity’ in all states for any mental disorder – including alcohol abuse and dependence – in the surveyed states ranged from 8.1 per cent in Assam to 19.9 per cent in Manipur. The average was 13.9 per cent.
The ‘current morbidity’ for any mental disorder – including alcohol abuse and dependence – among individuals ranged from 6 per cent in Assam to 13.9 per cent in Manipur. The overall number for all 12 states was 10.5 per cent.
The lifetime morbidity for mental disorders was higher among males (16.75 per cent) than females (10.8 per cent). Current morbidity was also higher in males (13.86 per cent) than females (7.47 per cent).
The percentage of individuals at risk of suicide ranged from 2.2 per cent in Chhattisgarh to 12.5 per cent in Kerala. The average among the 12 surveyed states was 6.4 per cent.
The rate of tobacco abuse and dependence ranged from 5.4 per cent in Punjab to 39.6 per cent in Rajasthan. The average across the surveyed states was 18.9 per cent.
The highest contributor to ‘mental morbidity’ (as defined in the report) was ‘mental and behavioral problems due to psychoactive substance use’ – 22.44 per cent. This included alcohol, tobacco and other substance use disorders, and was enumerated using ICD-10 classification. (ICD or the International Classification of Diseases, is the global health information standard maintained by the World Health Organization.
The lifetime prevalence of mood disorders was 5.61 per cent, and for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders it was 1.41 per cent. The lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders was 5.25 per cent.
The lifetime prevalence of mental disorders was higher in ‘urban metros’ at 19.33 per cent, as was the current prevalence at 14.71 per cent. In rural areas, it was 12.28 per cent and 9.57 per cent, respectively. In ‘urban non metro’ areas the lifetime prevalence was 12.76 per cent, while the current prevalence was 9.73 per cent.
The lifetime and current morbidity levels were highest among those with primary education (17.12 per cent and 13.49 per cent, respectively). They were lowest among those with pre-university and vocational education (9.57 per cent and 7.61 per cent, respectively), and among graduates and those with higher qualifications (9.62 per cent and 6.03 per cent, respectively).
The prevalence of substance use disorders was highest in the 50-59 age group at 29.4 per cent. It was higher in males (35.67 per cent) as compared to females (10.05 per cent). It was more prevalent in rural areas (24.1 per cent) than urban non metros (20.4 per cent) and urban metros (18.3 per cent).
The ‘lifetime prevalence’ of bipolar affective disorders was higher among males (0.58 per cent) than females (0.42 per cent), and higher in urban metros (0.94 per cent) as compared to urban non-metros (0.35 per cent) and rural areas (0.41 per cent).
The lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders was 5.72 per cent for females and 4.75 per cent for males. Among all age groups, those between 40-49 had the highest lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders at 7.47 per cent.
Lifetime prevalence of mental morbidity among males was at 15.22 percent while it was 9.57 per cent for females. It was 16.39 per cent in urban metros, 11.79 per cent in urban non-metros and 11.26 per cent in rural areas.
Focus and Factoids by Abizar Shaikh.
PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro