According to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) data, more than 80% of Indians do not avail mental health care facilities due to a variety of reasons, including ignorance, stigma, and high costs of mental health care facilities. The WHO estimates that India has an age-adjusted suicide rate of 21.1 per 100,000 people and a disability-adjusted life year burden of 2443 per 100,000 people. 1.03 trillion USD are projected to be lost in economic output between 2012 and 2030 as a result of mental health issues. There are presently 9000 psychiatrists, 2000 psychiatric nurses, 1000 clinical psychologists, and 1000 psychiatric social workers in India. 30,000 more psychiatrists, 37,000 more psychiatric nurses, 38,000 more psychiatric social workers, and 38,000 more clinical psychologists would be required nationwide. Thus, there is a huge gap between supply and demand.
There is a huge shortage of mental health professionals in India, yet students lack information about mental health careers. Psychologs Magazine along with UPS Education has organized 3 Group Career Counselling between 20 November and 25 November, in which about 1200 children were informed about how to become a mental health professional. Along with this, they were made aware of mental illness and the facts related to it. Experts mentioned that Psychology is a young discipline and the demand of psychologists along with other mental health professionals increases so there is huge scope in this field. Currently, mental health is surrounded by stigma and taboo, and as awareness increases among people, the demand for mental health professionals will increase greatly. So, if anyone is interested in Psychology/Mental Health and wants to work in the health sector, then it is the right time to choose this career option.
All of us are living in times of high educational and professional expectations. Students, not only faces stress generated by high achievement expectations for themselves but they all bear the pressure from the parents and teachers. A peer pressure to achieve more and more which is otherwise taken on a positive note generates a different level of complexity among the students nowadays. This does not happen only with the children but also the parents face this issue. Life has become so busy for everyone that it is really very difficult to sit and talk with the family. Family life, professional life, and even love life is affected due to the effects of much digitalization and urbanization, or better to say, nuclear family trends. Everyone lives a stressful life which is giving a rise to the rates of suicide, increasing cases of mental health illnesses.
Along with educational counselling, one of the main goals was to make children aware of mental health, especially the psychological problems arising due to the stress of studies. Psychologs magazine’s Editor-in-chief Dr. Arvind Otta also engaged with the students, addressed students queries and concerns, and provided career guidance on choosing psychology as a career in India. At the very beginning of the session, He highlighted the shortage of mental health professionals in India. Psychology can give you a career in which you can serve society with a good salary. He also states that 14% of the Indian population suffers from any kind of mental health issues, including 457 lakhs individuals suffering from depression and 490 lakhs individuals from anxiety disorders. He also added, “We should not look at psychology as a subject in restricted to mental illness; there are many options besides being a mental health professional for example, School Psychologist, Industrial Psychologist, Neuropsychologist etc.
Rakesh Kumar, a parent who is also a teacher, said that his daughter had been showing a lot of interest in psychology for some time now, but I was quite sceptical as a parent. Today I got a lot of help from one session, especially since my doubts about a career in psychology are over. The children also showed a lot of enthusiasm in the initiative of these two major institutions of India coming together to guide the children.