57% of the queries are from people in the age group of 25 – 34
India, October 07, 2022: According to WHO, the economic loss due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is estimated to be USD 1.03 trillion globally. And a National Mental Health Survey found that close to 14% of India’s population required active mental health interventions. But Indians today are more aware of mental health issues and are actively seeking help to address it.
Practo, India’s leading integrated healthcare company, has witnessed a steady increase in in-person consultations (Fig. 1 below) for mental health with a 44% increase YoY. And a majority of these consultations are from people in the age group of 25 – 34 constituting 57% of the total consultations in the last year. And from these, 61% were from males & 39% were from females.
A further deep-dive into Practo insights also revealed that the second wave of COVID-19 had impacted Indians tremendously which is indicated by a steep spike of 95% in online-consultations for mental health (Fig. 2 below).
The insights also showcased that the issues impacting India’s mental health include (Oct – Sept 2021 vs 2022) :
- Substance abuse, anxiety and depression are the leading queries on the platform
- Substance abuse is affecting both tier 1 & 2 cities with 52% of the queries coming from tier 1 & 48% from tier 2 cities*
- Among tier 1 Delhi has the highest number of queries at 20% followed by Mumbai at 10%*
- However, for anxiety & depression tier 1 cities have the most number of queries at 66% with the top 3 cities being Delhi, Bangalore & Mumbai*
*(Time-period: Oct 2021 – Sept 2022)
- Substance abuse, PTSD & panic are some of the areas that have seen the highest growth YoY
- In substance abuse, there is a 28% increase in queries on alcohol addiction, 53% in drug abuse & 98% in withdrawal symptoms YoY
- Eating disorders and PTSD are other queries that have seen a growth of 42% YoY
Commenting on the insights, Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said, ”While the incidence of mental health issues in the country is increasing, the silver lining is that people are recognising the importance of keeping the mind healthy and seeking
help. While this is encouraging to see, privacy and anonymity are crucial when it comes to mental health and online consultations have played an important role in accessing expert help with complete privacy.”
Dr Harish Shetty Psychiatrist, Dr L H Hiranandani hospital who also consults on Practo, said, “Globalization and today’s fast-paced life has had adverse effects on mental well-being. So much so that one in seven Indians are mentally ill. While there is a heightened awareness among young adults in the country, families with low awareness about mental health still act as speed breakers which can only be deflected through education. Because early identification of mental illness will help reduce the adverse impact. Additionally, an increase in the Emotional Contact Time (ECT) and Family Contact Time (FCT) among communities can also help.”
The insights report highlights important ailments and consultation related trends in the country. The information is aggregated, anonymized, and analysed at scale. We hope these findings better equip our healthcare providers to understand disease patterns and address them effectively and help others become aware of their options when looking to address their healthcare needs.