Do you really need services of a Psychologist in India?

Do you know that stigmas and misunderstandings around mental health are still pervasive in our culture and that it is still a relatively new issue in India.

Can you dispute the importance of psychologists to mental health treatment in India in this regard?

Most of the time, the average person forgets the function that psychologists in India play in general.


There are a few elements or causes that go into these causes.

  • Ignorance: Knowledge and awareness are the primary causes of ignorance. Words like “mad” and “asylum” are carelessly used. People are discouraged by the stigma and taboo associated with mental illness, as well as the excessive use of disparaging and humiliating terminology to characterise those who suffer from it.
  • Lack of assistance: There are just 43 state-run mental health facilities operating nationwide. According to research, there is only one psychiatrist for every 4 lakh Indians, and there are around 1,022 college places reserved in India for mental health specialists.

The absence of mental health insurance When patients are admitted to hospitals with mental problems, insurance companies do not offer them medical coverage. This makes it difficult for some people to obtain admission to a reputable hospital. A quality therapy is not inexpensive, and getting one without insurance coverage is much more challenging.

10% of the population suffers mental problems, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s National Health programme.

One in five people experience emotional and behavioural issues. There are over 60–70 million persons in the nation who have mild to severe mental problems.

Nearly 150 million Indians require mental health care services, yet fewer than 30 million of them seek treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) of India’s most recent survey. “Mental health or drug use disorders are diagnosable in more than 10% of the population. Treatment for mental problems is a necessity, not a luxury, and mental health comes first. The NIMHANS director Pratima Murthy recently said in an interview with leading national daily.

The fact that India has the highest annual rate of suicide in the world—over 2.6 lakh—is too terrible to mention here.

According to WHO figures, India has an average suicide rate of 10.9 per lakh people.

The number of sufferers is particularly alarming because there aren’t enough mental health professionals in India to help this demographic. Only 0.047 psychologists are present for every 100,000 persons, according to the World Health Organisation (2011). The cost of medical care is also rising in India as a result of this shortfall.

How therefore can we solve the shortage of human resources in the mental health industry?

Many of the institutes that now provide mental health training in India are underequipped, provide students little to no practical experience, have sporadic lessons, and present lectures of subpar quality. The curriculum that is used is also outdated and rarely, if ever, encourages evidence-based practises. Although psychologists should receive their training in academic institutions, the current state of many schools’ facilities is alarming.

Additionally, relatively few universities provide enough attention while offering specialised psychological degrees. The practical experience provided by internships is also of a relatively brief period (often between 14 and 30 days, seldom longer). Regarding the standard of internship locations, government hospitals with their overflowing patient populations and inadequate infrastructure seldom allow for hands-on instruction or competent supervision. Private internship locations could be too expensive.

Of course, we have an increasing requirement for clinical psychologist.

A clinical psychologist must possess a recognised clinical psychology degree from a school that has been authorised and recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India, or they must hold a post-graduate psychology degree and a Master of Philosophy degree that have been approved by the University Grants Commission. Therefore, clinical psychologists are highly suited to provide effective counselling.

But are there enough clinical psychologists available in India?

As was already said, there are just 0.047 psychologists for every 100,000 persons.

So, here comes the role of the counselling psychologist or psychologist in India, who is making a significant contribution.

Do you know that there is another group of psychology experts that refer to themselves as “counselling psychologists” or simply “psychologists” since there is a significant gap between clinical psychologists and psychiatrics with appropriate credentials.

What about them?

Practically anybody! These are often those with a Master’s degree in psychology who do not possess an M.Phil. In addition, many other professions, including homoeopaths, psychiatrists, engineers, and those with B.Com degrees, work as counsellors in India.

It is legal for anybody in India to call oneself a psychologist, and there are no plans to modify this situation anytime soon (Jain, A.K., 2005).

You cannot, of course, dismiss the importance of clinical psychology. Only a clinical psychologist with an RCI accreditation and an M.Phil. can sign a disability certificate for someone with mental retardation. It makes sense that a certificate signed by any tom-dick-harry cannot be used as the basis for the government providing assistance to people with mental impairment. Perhaps for this reason, the government emphasises how crucial it is for clinical psychologists to hold an M.Phil. with RCI certification.

The number of psychology seats has to be raised in order to close the gap between the demand for and supply of human resources. Currently, India invests 0.06 percent of its health budget on mental health, compared to wealthy countries that spend over 4% of their budgets (WHO, 2011), therefore expanding the number of seats may not be possible at this time. Additionally, even if seats were expanded today, it would still take the present class of students at least 7 years longer to qualify as professionals (3 years for a bachelor’s degree plus 2 years for a master’s degree plus 2 years for an M.Phil. ), prepared to serve the country.

So how can the urgent demand be met without altering the Mental Health Act?

The only real distinction between a clinical psychologist and a professional counselling psychologist or just psychologist in India is likely the capacity to certify intellectual impairment. However, this variation is really little when seen from a clinical standpoint.

Because they both serve the same customer group in practise, the distinction between clinical psychology and counselling psychology should not affect specialists who practise in India. Additionally, only a small percentage of the population a psychologist treats on a regular basis has intellectual disabilities, for which only a licenced clinical psychologist can sign the certification.

Depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological problems are dealt with more frequently by psychologists (both clinical and counselling).

According to this viewpoint, in addition to clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, the job of a psychologist is highly important in India.

Therefore, the next time you feel like you might use a psychologist in India, don’t be hesitant to look beyond clinical psychologists and psychiatrists; instead, look for an experienced psychologist in India; you’ll undoubtedly find one.

About admin

Despite successful career and upward trajectory, I found myself unfulfilled. My true passion lies in uplifting others that everyone deserves a joyful existence. Consequently, I've immersed myself in the captivating world of harnessing human psychology and the power of the mind to catalyze rapid personal growth and a more rewarding life. My life's mission encompasses a diverse spectrum of endeavors, including personal transformation, psychological counseling, NLP guidance, public speaking, storytelling expertise, mastering the Law of Attraction, one-on-one sessions, life coaching, and career counseling. My ultimate goal is to positively impact one million lives. With a robust background spanning three decades in civil engineering with MBA in personnel management, I'm transitioning my focus toward understanding human behavior.

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