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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-112

Behavior of general population toward mentally ill persons in digital India: Where are we?

1 Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, SHKM Government Medical College, Nuh, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vipin Kumar
Department of Psychiatry, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Nuh, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_194_20

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Background: We aimed to find out the overall reported and intended behavior of the general population of India toward mentally ill persons. Materials and Methods: Participants were included in an online survey using a nonprobability snowball sampling technique. After taking informed consent, sociodemographic details were recorded, and the “Reported and Intended Behaviour Scale” was administered. Results: Out of 818 responses, 684 responses were eligible for study after exclusion. The mean age (standard deviation) of the study population was 31.01 (7.79) years. Maximum participants reported that they did not live (76.6%), did not work (75.7%), did not live nearby (66.4 %), or have not had a close friend (79.8%) with mental health problems. However, most individuals neither agreed nor disagreed to live (48.5%), work (38%), and live nearby (42.7%) a mentally ill person, but maximum individuals strongly agreed to continue a relationship with a friend having mental health problems (34.5%). There were 77.5% males and 32.2% healthcare workers. Regarding intended behavior, there was a significant difference between healthcare workers and persons other than these as well as between males and females. Participants who had previous interaction with the mentally ill person were more willing to interact with the same. Conclusion: Most people do not intend to have stigmatized behavior toward mentally ill persons. Healthcare workers and males have less negative social reactions toward mentally ill persons in different domains of life. However, there is still a need to intensify awareness about mental health.

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