The NMHP is now in line with other larger developments in the country, and the needs of mental health promotion, prevention of illness, and cure have become well recognized. Because of financial constraints, efforts are now being directed at developing modest and viable programs in each state rather than ambitious plans for a wider coverage ( Srinivasa Murthy, 1990). It is hoped that the eighth plan will provide a greater thrust to the NMHP with greater monetary support.
It is a matter of concern that despite the best efforts of the professionals involved in carrying out the program, it has failed to have any significant impact in the majority of the states ( Agrawal, 1991). Needless to say, no scheme can be achieved without a strong political will to pursue it. The administrators and politicians often put forward the plea of lack of sufficient funds and claim that health priority areas are family planning and control of infectious diseases and malnutrition. It is intriguing that the decision makers have not yet perceived that the target program and mental health services are of a complementary nature.
Suprisingly, both the layman and experts from other medical disciplines view psychiatrists as doing nothing more than giving tranquilizing pills and indulging in pep talks with patients. The unhealthy image of psychiatry has been a deterrent in the progress of mental health in the country. There should be a greater focus on providing adequate mental health education to the public, encouraging the availability of modern methods of psychiatric treatment, and emphasizing the brighter aspects of recovery. A somewhat widespread apathy toward the plight of mental patients has continued.
Finally, dealing with the stigma of mental disorder must be a goal if success is to be achieved. The future of the NMHP will largely depend on professional support, public support and education, and the political will to give due importance to mental health in the development of the country. Motivation is required at all levels, among the providers as well as the acceptors, so that our cherished goal of Mental Health for All by the Year 2000 may become a reality.
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