National Mental Health Programme - Facts for UPSC

National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) was started in 1982 with the objectives to ensure availability and accessibility of minimum mental health care for all, to encourage mental health knowledge and skills and to promote community participate in mental health service development and to stimulate self-help in the community. As mental health awareness is important for all, so is important for the IAS Exam aspirants.

Aspirants can cover the topics mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus by following the below-mentioned links:

Why National Mental Health Programme

The need of NMHP has always been felt. The latest Lancet Report’s findings also reflect on the mental health of the people in India. Hence, NMHP is a right step towards mental health support.

Read about mental healthcare in the linked article.

Findings of the Lancet Report [Indian Scenario]:

  1. 197.3 million people were reported to have mental disorders in 2017.
  2. 45.7 million people suffered depression in 2017.
  3. 44.9 million people suffered with anxiety in 2017.
  4. The contribution of mental disorders to the total Disability-Adjusted Life-Years (DALYs) in India increased from 2·5 percent in 1990 to 4·7 percent in 2017.
  5. The breakup of the total mental disorders DALYs is mentioned below:
    • Depressive Disorders – 33.8 percent
    • Anxiety Disorders – 19 percent
    • Idiopathic developmental intellectual disability – 10.8 percent
    • Schizophrenia – 9.8 percent
    • Bipolar disorder – 6.9 percent
    • Conduct Disorder – 5.9 percent
    • Autism spectrum disorders – 3.2 percent
    • Eating disorders – 2.2 percent
    • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder – 0.3 percent

District Mental Health Programme

During IX five year plan, District Mental Health Programme was initiated (1986) based on Bellary Model developed by NIMHANS, Bengaluru.

Components of District Mental Health Programme

  1. Early detection and treatment
  2. Training
  3. Public Awareness Generation
  4. Monitoring

Objectives of National Mental Health Programme

  • Minimum mental heathcare for all – To ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all in the foreseeable future, particularly to the most vulnerable and underprivileged sections of the population;
  • Application of Mental Health Knowledge –  To encourage the application of mental health knowledge in general healthcare and in social development; and
  • Community Participation – To promote community participation in the mental health service development and to stimulate efforts towards self-help in the community.

National Mental Health Policy

The census 2011 mentioned that around 15.05 lakh Indians were facing some sort of mental illness. The National Mental Helath Policy which was introduced in 2014 aims to:

  1. Promote mental health
  2. Prevent mental illness
  3. Enable recovery from mental illness
  4. Promote destigmatization and desegregation, and
  5. Ensure socio-economic inclusion of persons affected by mental illness
  6. Provide accessible, affordable and quality health and social care to all persons through their life-span within a rights-based frame work

Important Terms Related to Mental Health

  1. Mental Health Problems – Psychosocial distress, mental illness and mental disability refer to mental health problems.
  2. Mental Illness – Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression acocunt for mental illness.
  3. Persons with mental illness – Those persons who have mental illness.
  4. Persons affected by mental illness – Those persons with mental illness along with their significant others.

FAQ about National Mental Health Program


What are the components of national mental health Programme?

Treatment of mentally ill, rehabilitation and prevention and promotion of positive mental health are the components of national mental health Programme.

When did National Mental Health Programme start?

The Government of India launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982, keeping in view the heavy burden of mental illness in the community, and the absolute inadequacy of mental health care infrastructure in the country

UPSC Preparation:

National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) National Health Mission
National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)
National Ayush Mission Ayushman Bharat


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