Are challenges of rural psychiatry different in the developing world? an experiential account from the nitte rural psychiatric project
Purpose: Sustaining mental health services in rural India is increasingly difficult. The major impediments to improve mental health services in rural and remote areas in India are the maldistribution of the resources, limited access to appropriate and timely services, training of health workers, burnout in workers and the financial cost of dealing with crisis over prevention. We describe the progress made in the Nitte Rural Psychiatric Project and the ongoing challenges that confront us. This poster would describe an experiential account of our experience in Nitte Rural Project wherein a valuable aspect of rural experience is being a part of rural community and having a ‘sense of community’.
Material and method: A qualitative study describing the unique heartening experience of medical professionals receiving a high level of respect in these communities and the flip side of a close-knit community where once you are part of it, it can become pervasive. Attending social and community events can be an important way to get to know the local people and gain their respect and trust so invariably professional life intrudes into personal time. Results: Apart from isolation from peers, demands on families (efforts to cope with relocation) and long term unsustainability are some of the pressing concerns.
Conclusion: Unmet needs of large groups of rural communities are being deprived of minimum availability of mental health care, lack of affordability and accessibility of services resulting in maintenance of stigma and various social issues are highlighted.