Kakinada: Mental morbidity in India, according to a recent survey, will overtake the sickness caused by cardiovascular diseases by the year 2012 at its current prevalence rate which is estimated at 9.5 to 370 per 1,000 population. Two crore people have major mental disorders and five crore have common types of them but the number of beds existing per a lakh population is just 0.3 and there are only two psychiatrists per 10 lakh population.

Utmost attention has to be paid to improving the mental state of people lest the consequences should be extremely burdensome on the health-care planners and detrimental to the sufferers, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Nunna Ravi said during the inaugural function of Prasanthi Hospitals.

On the occasion, Dr. Ravi said a mental disorder was a behavioural or psychological syndrome or a pattern associated with distress or with a significantly increased risk of suffering, death, pain, disability or loss of freedom.

Lack of awareness regarding the illness and treatments available was a major barrier to controlling the mental disorders in India. Besides, social stigma and misconceptions on psychotropics pose serious problems to those suffering from mental disorders.

There were a lot of issues that needed to be addressed to keep people in mentally sound condition.

A comprehensive approach was the need of the hour, he added.