Last Updated on October 12, 2020 by The Health Master
New Delhi: There was a 665 per cent rise in queries about mental health issues between October 2019 and September 2020, according to a report released by telemedicine app Practo.
The growth, Practo said in a press release issued Friday, is nearly five times that witnessed in the corresponding period between 2018 and 2019.
Of all the mental health queries recorded, 60 per cent were from Indians aged between 21 and 30 years, followed by 25 per cent in the 31-40 age group, 5 per cent in the 41-60 age group, and 10 per cent among those aged 60 and above.
Anxiety, stress and panic attacks were the most common mental health issues discussed by people accessing the app, said the report, titled ‘Practo Health Insights (October 2019 to September 2020)’.
According to the data, concerns regarding bipolar disorder and depression recorded a significant increase in the past six months, which witnessed the worsening of the Covid pandemic. Seventy per cent of the mental health-related consultations between October 2019 and September 2020 came from men.
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The data is drawn from searches sought on the Practo app, which is based in Bengaluru and is accessible throughout India. The app refused to disclose the exact numbers on which the insights are based.
“It’s important to reduce the negative stigma associated with mental healthcare. Telemedicine has played an important role in the mental health response, especially in the last six months, but its full potential is yet to be unlocked,” said Practo Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, as quoted in a press release accompanying the report.
“The key is to talk and seek timely help, and with the launch of this campaign, we aim to do just that — encourage people to seek help, and consult experts affordably, safely, while keeping their privacy and anonymity intact.”
35% of queries from non-metro cities
The Practo report suggests 35 per cent of all queries about mental healthcare were recorded from non-metro cities.
Queries from non-metro cities recorded a growth of 1,200 per cent in the period covered by the report, while those from metropolitan cities went up by 500 per cent.
Bengaluru, the report said, accounted for the highest number of mental health queries, followed by Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata.
Among non-metro cities, the highest number of queries came from Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Hubli, Kanpur and Ahmedabad.