Document Type : Original Article


1 National Institute of Social Defence, New Delhi, India

2 Department of Psychology, Central University of Karnataka, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India


BACKGROUND: The Government of India and State Government authorities are trying their best to 
provide adequate mental health services through various mental health policies and programs. To 
reduce the burden in psychiatric hospitals, Government has decentralized mental health services. 
Although Government has provided mental health services, the utilization has always been low due 
to many reasons. In the present study, an attempt was made to assess the accessibility and the 
barriers to utilizing mental health services with various community stakeholders.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a qualitative study wherein data was collected from youth, 
women, geriatric groups, community key leaders, and Anganwadi workers. The primary data were 
collected through focused group discussions and interview methods. The collected data were 
analyzed using thematic coding.
RESULTS: A total of twenty‑five factors have been identified in the study, which were categorized 
under eight themes. (a) Lack of awareness and misinformation on mental health, illness, and 
available services, (b) Perceived causes for mental illness, (c) Reasons for not approaching health 
professionals, (d) Treatment adherence‑related issues, (e) No multidisciplinary team in private 
hospitals and lack of involvement in government sector (f) Manpower issues, (g) Quality of service 
issues and building confidence among community people, and (h) Belief system and stigma.
CONCLUSIONS: Inadequate mental health services, lack of awareness of mental health, and 
illness are still persist. The District Mental Health Program and other service providers need to reach 
communities, especially in remote areas. Periodical evaluation should be carried out to improve the 
utilization of mental health services.


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