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Concerns about mental health have grown since the COVID-19 pandemic breakout, with increasing cases of mental health issues reported from around the world. A survey by LISSUN, a mental and emotional wellness startup, has suggested a significant 40-60 per cent increase in the number of mental illnesses post the pandemic.
Work from home, infertility, and childhood bullying were among the leading factors contributing to mental health issues, according to the survey.
More than 500 health experts, including General Physicians, Psychiatrists, Gynecologists, Nephrologists, Psychologists participated in the survey, which revealed some hidden facts regarding the mental health scenario in India.
"The survey reinstated the fact that conversation regarding mental health remains a taboo and needs immediate attention," LISSUN said in its report.
As many as 62 per cent of the respondents believe that childhood bullying, and child abuse victims are more likely to have anxiety/depression in adult life. Furthermore, patients facing different physical challenges too experience underlying mental illness at times.
As per 65 per cent respondents, patients with infertility issues are most likely to be susceptible to mental illness, followed by oncology with 60 per cent, and nephrology with 55 per cent.
A whopping 50 per cent of respondents expressed that there has been a significant 40-60 per cent increase in the number of mental illnesses post COVID-19 pandemic. 68 per cent of respondents thinks that work from home has contributed to many mental health issues.
One grave concern revealed by the study is that a staggering 70 per cent of patients are at their advanced stage when they get their diagnosis done.
Krishna Veer Singh, Co-Founder, LISSUN, said, "It is a truth that a lot of people dealing with critical illness, or some sort of physical health issues suffer from an underlying mental illness at the same time. However, it just doesn't come to light and hence remains untreated. It becomes very difficult for people to identify and distinguish between the two and address them individually. For these prevailing reasons we are insisting on spreading awareness, and will continue working in the same direction."
The survey also highlighted the most common signs of mental health issues, which include indigestion, constant lethargy, and sometimes persistent body ache, which otherwise go undetected.
Who would you contact first when you face any mental or emotional issue: a family member or a friend?
Surprisingly, 40 per cent of the health experts surveyed said that for patients with mental health issues, their immediate friends are their first contact person when they face mental or emotional illness.
Only 20 per cent of the respondents said that patients approached their family first when they encountered emotional or mental trouble.
Meanwhile, 43 per cent respondents expressed the concern that family usually is hesitant to help patients avail proper treatment or go for therapy or counseling due to lack of awareness, acceptance, and stigma.
On a positive note, 42 per cent of the respondents said that post-COVID, the society is more open to the idea of taking psychological counselling.
However, 38 per cent of the respondents believe that the recent Tele-Mental Heath program initiated by the government would only benefit the urban population. The primary reason for this could be that in non-urban areas, the priority is awareness so that people step forward and avail of the service in need.
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