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Increasing Investment in Mental Healthcare with Sukoon Health

Hear Divya dialogue with Dr Mantosh Kumar, the Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Sukoon Health on the mental healthcare industry of India.

This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day WHO campaign is increased investment in mental health and will also be the main focus of the podcast.

“Don’t be rushed to discuss mental health with your family and close friends. Choose a private place to discuss such issues, even if you live together, find a different way of communication, like, text messages. Allow the person to open up slowly, be consistent in your approach and non-judgmental.”

Questions discussed on the podcast:

Q. What is Sukoon doing to bring about a change in mental healthcare investment?

Q. The mental health expenditure by the Union Government is less than 0.5% of its total health budget, which itself is marginally above 1% of India’s Gross Domestic Product. In India, approximately 13.7 % of the population suffers from mental disorders according to NIMHANS study, and these funds are certainly not enough. What are your thoughts on this? What should the govt be doing to increase investment in this space? 

Q. What about private investment in mental healthcare?

FYI with DR: Amit Burman, Chairman of Dabur India, has invested an undisclosed amount of money in a Delhi-based mental health startup No Worry No Tension Healthcare (NWNT).

Q. Is the investment we are seeing in mental health space just a COVID-19 assisted boom?

Q. Is tech playing a crucial role in aiding mental health in India currently? AI chatbots & wellness apps? Any other tech that can help Sukoon? Are we far behind western counterparts when it comes to innovation in mental health?

Q. What is the state of mental health care in India? Have things been made worse due to COVID-19, how are experts like you combatting and dealing with this?

DR Pro Tip: Could India realistically facilitate training and employment of mental health professionals and inclusion of mental health as a major component of “well-being budget” just like New Zealand

Q. How can we as clients identify and approach the need for either psychologists or psychiatrists? Does the distinction exist in India? Is there a trend for psychiatrists doing psychologists jobs in India?

Q. During COVID-19, we are all stuck indoors, and within our family units more than ever. How can we aim to create a more healthy relationship with our family and speak openly about mental health?

Q. How can Indian family units better exercise vulnerability with each other? 

Like this podcast? Don’t forget to hear the episode with Nilesh Bothra, Co-Founder & CEO, Calamus, on how he created the worlds safest e-bike here!

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