Washington: China and India together account for one-third of global burden of mental illness, but only a tiny fraction of the patients receive medical help, a recent study revealed.
The study is one of the three papers that mark the launch of the China-India Mental Health Alliance, a long-term project bringing together experts from China and India to look at the current status of mental health and mental health services in both countries.
There are more people in the world's two most populous nations coping with mental, neurological and substance use problems than in all high-income countries combined, the study appeared in the Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry said.
The new analysis by the Alliance of Global Burden of Disease data revealed that the burden of mental illness will increase more rapidly in India than in China over the next ten years.
In 2013, 36 million years of healthy life were lost to mental illness in China, and 31 million in India. Estimates suggest that by 2025, 39.6 million years of healthy life will be lost to mental illness in China (10 percent increase) and 38.1 million in India (23 percent increase).
In both countries, substance use disorders were more common in men than women, the burden of drug dependence disorders was more than twice as high for men as women and the burden of alcohol use disorders was nearly seven times higher for men as women.
Dementia is a growing problem for both countries. From 2015 to 2025, it is estimated that the number of healthy years lost due to dementia will increase by 82 percent in India (from 1.7 million to 3.2 million) and by 56 percent in China (from 3.5 million to 5.4 million).