A majority of Indians, at 75 per cent, are preoccupied about their physical wellbeing, over mental wellbeing at 62 per cent, a survey by global market reseach agency Ipsos has found.
The survey, conducted to coincide with the World Mental Health Day, found 64 per cent Indians believe that is equally important to have both, physical and mental health.
Indians want a clear shift in the handling and perception of mental illness. As many as 64 per cent Indians want the stigma attached with mental health issues to go and they would prefer if it was treated like any other illness. Further, 74 per cent Indians exhort adoption of a more tolerant attitude towards those with mental illness in the society.
The survey also shows a more positive and empathetic change coming about towards those with signs of mental health conditions with 64 per cent urban Indians believe seeing a mental health specialist or therapist, as a sign of strength.
“Indians are recognising that being healthy and well is a combination of both, physical and mental wellbeing and both work in tandem. Also mental health issues are like any other illness and it is alright to see a doctor for alleviating symptoms,” says Monica Gangwani, Executive Director & Country Service Line Leader, Healthcare, Ipsos India.
The Ipsos survey found that views around mental health somewhat disjointed and devoid of clear consensus. Aout half of Indians polled (52 per cent), disagree that increased spending on mental health services is a waste of money. However, 27 per cent think it is a wasteful expenditure, while 17 per cent were neutral, 3 per cent were undecided and 1 per cent refused to tender opinion.
As many as 39 per cent Indians reject exclusion of someone from public office, on the grounds of mental health history, while 32 per cent agree on exclusion, 25 per cent were neutral, 3 per cent undecided and 1 per cent refused an opinion.