Spare a thought for psychiatric caregivers too
- According to National Health Mission estimates, 6%7% of India’s population su?ers from mental disorders. Without proper diagnosis, the patient and their families keep su?ering as mental health responses remain mired in myths, stigmas, and taboos.
Reasons for caregiver stress:
- Physical and Emotional caregiving- The caregiver is under considerable stress because of the physical and emotional caregiving along with the social isolation.
- Patient reaction to treatment- A patient’s nonadherence to treatment, prevalent in such cases, further exacerbates caregiver stress.
- Support for psychiatric treatment- Women caregivers face challenges in balancing myriad activities and are less likely to receive informal support for psychiatric treatment.
Need for structured intervention:
- Policies neglecting caregiver- The National Mental Health Programme and the decentralized District Mental Health Programme remain focused on the patient but neglect the caregiver.
- Spread Awareness- Given the prolonged distress experienced by caregivers, it is essential to introduce a structured intervention programme to educate and support the caregivers of psychiatric patients.
- Insu?cient budget allocation- Insu?cient budget allocation for mental health patients also raises concerns of developing intervention for psychiatric caregivers.
- Effective partnership needed- A comprehensive treatment of severe psychiatric illnesses in the future would need building e?ective partnerships between healthcare professionals, informal caregivers, and psychosocial interventions, where required.
- Mental Healthcare Act 2017- The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 provided a corrective step with the mandate to treat mental disorders on a par with physical disorders for insurance coverage.
- Increasing Private Insurers- Government schemes provided by public sector insurance companies provide coverage for mental disorders. However, coverage by private insurers remains limited.