Trained counsellors can help treat depression & drinking-related problems

People with three weeks training can effectively treat people with harmful drinking habits and patients with depression. This can help cope with the shortage of qualified mental health professionals in India.

The treatment trained lay counselors can provide to such patients is significantly superior to the usual care they would receive in primary healthcare centres.

These are the findings of a countrywide study done in India. Experts are hoping that policymakers will train more people to make up for the shortages of psychiatrists and psychologists across India.

Between 50 million to 70 million people in India have harmful drinking problems or suffer from depression. But about 90% of such patients remain undiagnosed or untreated.

The study looked at whether people with prior training in healthcare can be successfully trained to deliver effective psychological support.

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