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Scope of Mental Health in Budget 2023

Provisions regarding Mental Health in Budget 2023

What are the provisions regarding Mental Health in Budget 2023?

Mental Health, undoubtedly, is an issue that needs to be addressed at a national level. So, even before the Budget, there was a common consensus that the government should allocate more funds to Mental Health programs in India. What does the Budget 2023 say about Mental Health? To understand how the latest Budget by Nirmala Sitharaman, announced on 1st February, 2023, tackles the issue of mental health, we need to focus on three topics.

1. National Tele Mental Health Programme

In 2022-23 the revised budget allocation for this program was 121 crore. But, this year, the funding has increased to 133.73 crores. The National Tele Mental Health Programme is the digital part of the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP). The aim of this program is to provide “universal access to equitable, accessible, affordable and quality mental health care through 24×7 tele- mental health counselling services” across all states and UTs of India.

It is a toll-free number facility that is hoping to encourage more people to readily avail services when they feel the need to. This also looks forward to establish a tele-MANAS (Tele-Mental Health Assistance and Nationally Actionable Plan) in each state and UT.

Read More- Signs that Your Mental Health is Improving

2. National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bengaluru

Ever since 2021, the budget allocation to NIMHANS, a premier institute in India, has been increasing. Last year they were allocated 678 crores, but this year it has been increased to 721.15 crore. NIMHANS is a leading institute in India that has been focusing on providing services, training, and research in the fields of mental health as well as neurosciences.

3. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur

The revised budget allocation to this institute was lesser than initially thought of in 2022- 23. However, this year the Budget has allocated 63.66 crores to this institute, an increase from the revised 58.30 crores in the previous year. This is a “premier tertiary psychiatric care institute in the North East.” The institute also offers courses on different forms of therapy.

Why is it important to focus on Mental Health?

After the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an increase in depression and anxiety cases by 35%. The National Crime Records Bureau has also confirmed an increase in the number of suicide cases in India. The Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2021 survey by NCRB states that in 2021, 1,64,033 cases were recorded, which was an increase from 1,53,052 cases in 2020.

In light of these, it is imperative that mental health be taken more seriously and we do something to help people at every level. Hence, more allocation by the government will result in better provision of facilities to people.

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Harshita Bajaj

Harshita has a background in Psychology and Criminology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Criminology. She can be found reading crime thrillers (or any other book for that matter) or binge-watching shows on Netflix when she is not in hibernation.
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