Delivering Mental Health Care in Rural Primary Care Settings: An Indian Experience
In the last two decades there has been a major shift in the organization of health services all over the world. With the growing awareness of the health needs of people, the provision of lowcost effective health services has become the prime concern of health professionals in every country.In the developing countries of Asia and Africa, planning of health services for a vast population poses many problems.How does one provide basic health care to the people where the fundamental problem is one of a rapidly increasing population and limited resources. Approximately 70% to 80% of the people live in rural areas scattered over thousands of miles, without access to the cities and hospitals, constrained by forces of terrain and weather, and hampered by limitations of money and time. Despite these many problems, India has accepted the Primary Health Care as the National Policy and has developed an infrastructure of health services through primary health care centres. Correspondingly, there has been a consistent effort to decentralize the health activitiesand services. Thus, the integration of mental health services within this framework of primary health services has become a necessary concern of mental health professionals in India. Today, in India, as in all other developing countries, mental health has become much too important to be left to a handful of psychiatrists who are all confined to big cities. The pressing need of the day is to develop newer models for prividing basic mental care to our rural populations.
KeywordsMental Health Mental Health Service Primary Health Care Mental Health Care Primary Health Care Centre
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