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Mumbai, Delhi among top cities seeking online consultations for mental health, report finds

The report stated that the queries mainly revolved around issues of stress, isolation, claustrophobia, being unproductive, anger, irritation, loneliness, mood swings, to name a few.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, many people have struggled with mental health issues. Across the world, it has been reported widely that there has been a mental health crisis in a span of a few months, what with people having to stay locked up in their homes, anxious about the ongoing health crisis.

Now, a recent study has revealed that Indians, in particular, are grappling with multiple forms of mental health issues that have risen exponentially post the coronavirus outbreak. Conducted by Lybrate — which is one of India’s largest health and wellness platforms — the study states that there has been over 180 per cent rise in online patient consultations around mental health conditions on the platform. Lybrate has witnessed over 225 per cent jump in online consultations by females and 150 per cent by males.

The highest jump has been witnessed in the city of Mumbai (205 per cent), followed by Delhi (180 per cent), Pune (170 per cent), Ahmedabad (155 per cent), Chennai (142 per cent), Bangalore (115 per cent), Kolkata (109 per cent) and Hyderabad (102 per cent). The platform said that it came up with the insights post analysis of data gathered between March 1 and June 20, 2020.

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Other cities which have found a place in the list include Indore (141 per cent), Lucknow (135 per cent), Kochi (127 per cent), Patna (122 per cent), Bhopal (104 per cent), Bhubaneshwar (98 per cent) and Chandigarh (97 per cent). In terms of age, the jump has been highest in the 25-45 age group. People in the 45-60 age bracket were next to have asked the majority of queries on the platform.

“Mental health became a point of concern for a majority of Indians after COVID-19. We noticed on our platform that even specialists who did not deal with the subject were being consulted about mental health issues. Given the demanding situation, we provided a basic session to doctors; psychologists on our platform trained them on how to better counsel those seeking help regarding mental health problems. As the questions asked were mostly generic in nature, we thought it would come handy for those doctors who want to help out during the crisis,” Saurabh Arora, Founder & CEO of Lybrate said.

The report stated that the queries mainly revolved around stress, isolation, claustrophobia, being unproductive, anger, irritation, loneliness, mood swings, not being able to cope with family members around, rifts between spouses, coping mechanisms, uncertainty and helplessness, along with a substantial rise in queries from working people about job losses and related stress, fear and worry on resuming offices at a time when COVID-19 cases are rising in the country, among others.

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The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, has called upon countries in the South-East Asia Region to pay greater attention to mental health and suicide prevention.

“Hitting lives and livelihoods, the pandemic is causing fear, anxiety, depression and stress among people. Social distancing, isolation and coping with perpetually-evolving and changing information about the virus has both triggered and aggravated existing and pre-existing mental health conditions which need urgent attention,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region has said, adding that early identification of mental health conditions, recognition of suicidal behaviours and appropriate management through a multi-sectoral approach is important.

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