ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Sudarshan R Kottai

Suicide Deaths in India

The narratives on suicide deaths by mainstream mental health systems frame it as an individual problem located within troubled brains and minds without opening up the dynamic between structural violence and lived experiences. The result is the continuous call to upscale access to mental health services to cure sick minds without attending to the sick social structures and systems that create fatal vulnerabilities. A decolonial suicidology is imperative to foreground the lifeworlds of marginalised people like migrant workers who are often targets of the burgeoning mental health industry in the current neo-liberal order.

A Mental Health Epidemic?

Questions are raised about an approach towards psychiatric epidemiology, which directly imports models in medicine to count disorders of the mind to produce staggering evidence to the effect that 11% of Indians suffer from mental disorders. An alternative psychiatric epidemiology is needed, which relies on the principles of slow research, is value-based, and which defines mental health as an ethical and political problem.

Migrant Workers and the Politics of Mental Health

The roping in of tertiary care mental health institutes by the government in providing individualised (tele) counselling services to migrant workers needs to be viewed with caution. Instead of acting as a catalyst in upholding the dignity and human rights of migrant daily wage workers who were left high and dry, mental health practice, shaped by political and institutional influences, provided “counselling” to lakhs of people who bore the brunt of governmental apathy during the pandemic crisis.