A majority of Indians, at 75 percent, are preoccupied about their physical wellbeing, over mental wellbeing at 62 percent, a survey by global market research agency Ipsos has found.
The survey, conducted to coincide with the World Mental Health Day, found 64 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent urban Indians believe seeing a mental health specialist or therapist, as a sign of strength.
"Indians are recognizing 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. About half of Indians polled (52 percent), disagree that increased spending on mental health services is a waste of money. However, 27 percent think it is a wasteful expenditure, while 17 percent were neutral, 3 percent were undecided and 1 percent refused to tender opinion.
As many as 39 percent Indians reject exclusion of someone from public office, on the grounds of mental health history, while 32 percent agree on exclusion, 25 percent were neutral, 3 percent undecided and 1 percent refused an opinion.