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Pharma cos set to strengthen product basket in mental health product, online consulting

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian pharma and other healthcare providers are set to strengthen their product basket of mental healthcare medicines. Companies from Lunbeck to Sun and Micro Labs are engaged in manufacture of psychotropic drugs see that India continues with the challenge of 70 million people suffering from major to minor mental health illnesses along with shortage of a mere 3,500 trained psychiatrists and even fewer psychologists.
The inter-institutional and multi-disciplinary research by NIMHANS, along with crowd funding by ImpactGuru.com, the organization urges citizens to donate towards this cause and help raise awareness among masses regarding mental health problems and online consulting companies like DocsApp to provide the much needed assistance to the country’s mental health landscape.
On the occasion of the World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10, this year, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) is strengthening its research initiatives in this area with the theme ‘Mental Health in the Workplace.
According to Dr. BN Gangadhar, director NIMHANS,  the thrust areas of research continue to be on molecular and sub-cellular mechanisms for disease process. The Institute is also linking clinical status with structural, biochemical, immunological and serological abnormalities searching for biomarkers. Researchers are also exploring genetic basis for disease causation, developing prognostic and clinical predictors.
“Owing to the change in lifestyle and rapid urbanization, mental health issues are on the rise. We are accustomed to consulting a doctor when we fall sick and take the prescribed medication.

People do not understand the severity of mental health problems. Mental health issues, unlike common physical health issues, cannot be cured by only taking prescription medicines. The person needs to undergo sessions with a specialist consistently for at least 6-8 weeks, Satish Kannan, CEO & Co-founder DocsApp, told Pharmabiz in an email.
“Now DocsApp has introduced emotional wellness packages that help people to complete treatment without straying away. Anyone can seek help from a specialist at anytime from anywhere. We strive to create awareness about mental well-being and also educate people about the need to seek help when they face mental health issues”, he added.
In the case of Impact Guru, an online crowd funding platform in India which has helped raise over Rs. 300 crore, sees key mental illness like depression and anxiety have increased suicides. The number of urban-dwellers facing mental health issues are on the rise. Keeping the situation in mind, Impact Guru is keen to raise funds in association through Lions and Rotary Clubs.
Dr. Manish Banker, chairman and medical director, Nova IVI Fertility points out that psychological conditions impact physical health. The WHO too reports an increase depression cases by 18% in last 10 years. One of the reasons why men and women fall prey to mental stress is the inability to conceive a child. When it comes to stress and infertility, people are often caught in a vicious cycle. About 20-25% of couples go through tremendous mental pressure while undergoing infertility treatment. The success rate in treatment of any physical ailment is significantly better when one is not too stressed, and infertility treatment is no different.


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