Adolescent and Youth Mental Health in India: Policies and Programmes



India is set to become the youngest nation of the world with the largest youth population. It is important to nurture the young population and ensure their physical and mental health, so they can maximise their potential. However, the data on prevalence of psychological disorders among adolescents and young individuals indicates that a significant section of adolescents and youth is experiencing psychological disorders and psychosocial distress. It is important to address this and strengthen efforts at the national level towards enhancing adolescent and youth wellbeing. This chapter therefore aims to provide comprehensive information about existing policies related to adolescent and youth mental health and exploring the possibility of creating a new policy specific to this group. The chapter also reviews some selected programmes and initiatives developed in the country and attempts to weave them in the context of existing policies. The chapter concludes by proposing recommendations across various levels in the service delivery sector including research, policy and programme implementation to effectively address adolescent and youth needs in the country. The chapter is targeted at mental health professionals, researchers, adolescent and youth leaders, policy-makers and community organisations across the nation, with an aim to collaborate and create efficient and effective practices to enhance the mental health of adolescents and youth in India.


Adolescents and youth Adolescent mental health Youth mental health Mental health policy Mental health programmes 



We would like to thank all the officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; representatives from the State Government of Maharashtra; representatives from the RKSK programme; policy-makers and experts who participated in the consultative meet; experts from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru; practicing mental health professionals; and faculty at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai for their invaluable inputs and recommendations.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human EcologyTata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Tata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia

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