Journal of Public Health

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 717–723 | Cite as

The hidden cost of development—a review of mental health issues of displaced tribal populations in India

  • Devika Gupta
  • Prashant Kumar Singh



The main aim of this study was to assess the psychological consequences that displacement brings into the lives of India’s tribal populations, specifically, in the form of mental illness.

Subject and methods

Literature review.


The impact of forced displacement on the mental state of tribal populations is significant and multi-faceted. In spite of sufficient evidence indicating the extent of mental health challenges, the Governmental response in India has been completely missing. Some of the challenges in the path of Indian health providers are poor diagnostic facilities, lack of psychiatric epidemiological data for tribal populations, and culturally inappropriate instruments. Scientists and practitioners can play an important role in bridging the knowledge gap in the field.


It is necessary to perceive the mental health status of displaced tribal populations within the larger framework of social justice. A strictly biomedical approach is insufficient when the individuals seeking help are under constant stress. Thus, a mental health program is needed for tribal people that offers a perspective broad enough to address the needs of individuals and the local worlds in which they live.


Mental health Displacement Tribal population Public health India 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. Thus, no ethical approval is required for this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Policy StudiesTERI School of Advanced StudiesNew DelhiIndia

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