Scarcity of Mental Health Doctors in Hyderabad & Telangana

A lifestyle filled with deadlines and multiple tasks in the midst of the city’s hustle & bustle would be best to describe the life of most people living in India’s metropolitan cities, and Hyderabad is no exception to this.

 

Hyderabad, a major centre for the technology industry, and also being rich in its heritage, displayed by historical monuments such as Charminar and the Fort of Golconda, is one of the major metropolitans of India.

 

However, the mental health state of this advancing state does not seem as rich as its heritage. According to the Union Ministry of Health, there are only 7,075 doctors available to serve the mental health needs of the entire country, which is a horrifyingly low number. Telangana, the latest addition to the lists of states and union territories of India formed out of Hyderabad, is in line with this statistic shared above. Indian Psychiatric Society’s experts have said that Telangana is facing a shortage of mental health practitioners and proper infrastructure, with only 200 trained doctors to cater to the needs of the state’s entire population.

 

Dr. G Srinivasa Rao, director, public health, Telangana, in his conversation with The Times of India (TOI), admitted that since the pandemic began, the most pressing concern is that of the mental health condition of the state’s citizens. He stated that mental health issues have exceeded any of those posed by Covid complications. Dr. Rao said that the state has acknowledged these issues and is working readily to serve the people, by opening special psychiatric clinics in districts, and assessing those coming to hospitals both, physically and mentally. These are some valiant efforts by the state government of Telangana in such trying times, and hopefully will help its citizens, at least to some degree.

 

Doctors treating covid patients have observed mental health issues in around 80% of the patients, out of which, many refuse to seek help for their mental health due to the stigma attached around the topic of mental health. A resident doctor at Gandhi Hospital, Telangana, in their conversation with TOI, states that those in the ICU are the ones struggling with mental health issues the most, with probable death facing them, they are easily affected by depression. They also stated that even when those who do make it physically out of the ICU, they still display symptoms of severe depression.

 

The lockdown has only worsened the mental health conditions of people all around the globe. The same is true for Hyderabad. Psychologists, mental health support organisations and other mental health practitioners all around have reported a dramatic increase in the number of phone calls received asking for help ever since the pandemic began. Dr Minhaj Zafar Nasirabadi, a professor at Deccan Medical College, Hyderabad, stated that approximately 10% people who reached out for help suffer from depression, around 1% have been diagnosed with psychosis & schizophrenia & anxiety topped the charts with around 15% patients suffering from anxiety disorders.

 

In a rather shocking but relatively older study by Challapallisri & Dempster (2015) which aimed at investigating the magnitude of stigma prevalent among medical professionals in Hyderabad, it was found that the state’s doctors do display a negative attitude towards mentally ill patients. The results of the study showed that patients with drug addiction and alcoholism, respectively, were perceived the most negatively by the doctors who participated in the study. Talking about the gender differences in the results, it was observed that more female doctors had a negative perception about patients suffering from eating disorders, depression, dementia, alcoholism and schizophrenic

 

Specifically talking about school children, the agony and stress was due to several reasons, such as the social conditions they were pushed in, like abusive and toxic households, constant supervision by family members, a dying social life, devoid of friends and classmates. Economic difficulties affected the academic lives of many children all over Hyderabad. According to a recent article by The Hindu, in Hyderabad, before the pandemic, there were a total of 2083 registered private schools, which has now dropped down to 1888 in this new year. In Rangareddy district alone, the shutting down of 19 schools was seen, wherein the number of schools dropped from 1415 schools to 1396 schools. These schools had to be closed down because the parents could either not afford the fee demanded by the schools or refused to pay the demanded amount for online classes.

 

Attaching a list of Mental Health Hospitals and other Institutions for those looking for professional mental health support in Hyderabad and Telangana.

 

  1. Institute of Mental Health (IMH)– It started as custodial care asylum in 1953 it transformed itself into Government Hospital for Mental Care in 60s and later attained the status of Institute in 70s, with addition of UG and PG training in psychiatry and as a research nodal centre in 2000(21st Century).

 

  1. Cadabam’s, Hyderabad– Cadabam’s Group is India’s largest mental healthcare service provider with three decades of experience in psycho-social rehabilitation and the largest multispeciality team of mental health professionals in the country.

 

  1. Department of Psychiatry, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospitals– The hospital has doctors highly specialized in this field. Their team of doctors are trained from famous universities. They offer comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis and treatment to heal your mental illness. Available services include cognitive-behavioural therapy, women’s mental health, bipolar disorder treatment, community mental health, treatment for depression and anxiety and mental health issues in adults.

 

  1. Tranquil Minds- Psychiatric Clinic– Tranquil Minds was conceived with the twin goals of promoting the emotional wellbeing and peak performance of individuals and organisations. Their vision is to bring about positive, long-term and sustainable change in the lives of their clients leading towards happier and more successful lives.

 

  1. Koya Mind Space– A psychiatric clinic and counseling center in Telangana.

 

If you’re looking for mental health support for any issue troubling you, Mind Unwynd has a plethora of highly trained and well-qualified mental health practitioners who are always ready to help you help yourself. Mind Unwynd is a mental health platform which connects you to a mental health practitioner of your choice. Book your session now.

 

References

 

Challapallisri, V., & Dempster, L. V. (2015). Attitude of doctors towards mentally ill in Hyderabad, India: Results of a prospective survey. Indian journal of psychiatry, 57(2), 190–195. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5545.158190

 

 Didyala, A. (2021, July 25). Rise in mental illness cases a worry but Telangana lacks doctors: Hyderabad News – Times of India. The Times of India. Retrieved from https://m.timesofindia.com/city/hyderabad/rise-in-mental-illness-cases-a-worry-but-state-lacks-docs/articleshow/84716239.cms 

 

K, A. (2019, June 23). Hyderabad: Mental Health Doctors remain few in numbers. Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved from https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/240619/hyderabad-mental-health-doctors-remain-few-in-numbers.html 

Nanisetti, S. (2022, January 2). A year that took a heavy psychological toll on students. The Hindu. Retrieved from https://www-thehindu-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/a-year-that-took-a-heavy-psychological-toll-on-students/article38089652.ece/amp/?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#aoh=16427093925040&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehindu.com%2Fnews%2Fnational%2Ftelangana%2Fa-year-that-took-a-heavy-psychological-toll-on-students%2Farticle38089652.ece

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