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Wellness Industry 17 Oct 2017

How investing in mental wellness can be a good business idea in India

When we talk about wellness, one thing which comes to our mind is wellbeing. How important is mental wellness in today’s time? Let know more..

By Madhusree Chowdhury Feature Writer

India is the second largest populated country in the world. It means that one out of six individuals is from this country. A study done by the World Health Organization predicts an estimated loss of economy costing over US$ 1 trillion due to mental illness within the year 2012 to 2030. The alarming growth rate of mental illness, especially in the urban population is becoming a huge concern. The most affected individuals are the corporate employees who have to cope up with immense work pressure and life-related tensions. An elaborate study from ASSOCHAM reveals that 42.5% of the total corporate employees in India suffer from mental illnesses. The fear of getting replaced by a better profile seems to take a toll on the mental wellbeing of the working professionals.

The mental and wellness industry in India will be looming large due to the increase of participants and consumers. We all know that disposable income has risen to a huge extent. People are also becoming aware of their mental and physical health. The main factor that is driving the awareness to a positive level is digitization. A report prepared by IBEF and published in 2017 states that the medical tourism in the subcontinent will assume a whopping figure of US$ 8 billion by the end of 2020. The volume of consumers will increase and so will the wellness brands.

Dr. Vikram Patel, Joint Director, London’s Center for Global Mental Health, said, “There’s a big myth that everything psychiatrists do is so sophisticated and complicated. It scares lot of people off. Demystifying mental health is my agenda. There’s a gradual increase in awareness that mental illness is a health problem, not a social or personal problem, but it’s very gradual.” India is on the verge of witnessing an abrupt increase in mental cases, especially in the urban areas. The government is well-aware of the situation and is welcoming investment in this aspect.

The demand for mental healthcare professionals will rise within few years. Huge number of people are unable to cope with the pressure of daily life and are suffering from mental issues is increasing in an alarming rate. The bigger problem is that there are only 5000 psychiatrists in India, which means that the doctor-patient ration is very high. The alarming rate of increase in mental cases will need a huge volume of mental healthcare professionals. This is where a potential business opportunity lies. Meeting specific needs of the patients in this aspect will not only solve the country’s problem related to mental health, but also provide a prospective opportunity to do a progressive business.

Coming up with a proper setup where the mental problems will be met with apt expertise is a brilliant idea for a wellness business. In other ways, this idea can be taken to a newer level by introducing means to increase social awareness. Designing a medium through which the mental illnesses can be addressed on time or providing a medium where the mental patients can open up properly to solve the issues is a very nifty way to meet the demand. The biggest issue in mental illnesses is that the sufferers do not open up properly in front of the family members or near ones. This is why the condition aggravates and leads to elevated suicide rates.

Mental wellbeing is a fundamental property of a quality life. The presence of this property determines how happy a person is with his or her life. The main motive of the wellness business should be to impart a meaning to the affected lives so that they can find encouragement and move ahead to solve the issues accordingly.

Introducing new techniques to deal with immense stress will help the population to overcome the bane of mental illness. Stress is the first step towards aggravated mental health. Eventually, it leads to tension and then to depression. Often, childhood issues and other traumatic incidences trigger various types of mental problems. Spreading awareness and easing the competitive environment in the contemporary modern life will surely reduce the problem to some extent.

Aromatherapy, art therapy, holistic nutrition, proper counseling venues, etc are the new game changers in this aspect. Incorporating innovative ideas like these in the mental wellness business can prove to be a remarkable decision in the future.

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