50% don’t seek mental health help despite needing it: Survey

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By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi– According to the World Health Organisation, depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-old age group. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely — as much as two decades earlier — due to preventable physical conditions.

Almost 50 percent of a survey’s respondents have not sought mental health assistance in the past even when they knew they needed it.

According to the Meru Health survey, the top reasons were “too expensive” (38 percent), followed by “too difficult” (35 percent) and “not enough time” (28 percent). About one quarter of participants were worried about stigma or confidentiality, and 23 percent did not pursue care because they were unable to find a provider.

On an average, about 1 in 4 employees (24 percent) would prefer digital mental health assistance over in-person assistance. 30 percent of employees would prefer a program that enables them to chat online or via text with providers daily or as needed.

“It’s shocking to me to see so many people not pursuing the mental health assistance they need,” says a Meru Health spokesperson.

“I envision that one day getting help for mental health problems would be as easy and stigma-free as it is for any other health problem. To get there, employers need to ensure all employees are aware of their mental health benefits, and that employees know that such programs are completely confidential and that there is no shame in asking for help. Providing digital options offers a low-threshold and flexible option to get care whenever and wherever needed. It also allows for asynchronous care: you can get help and talk to someone when you need it and not have to wait for your appointment.” (IANS)


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