London, Nov 30 (IANS) Inequality and social exclusion are the primary factors driving mental health problems in Uttarakhand, says a study by a researcher at Umea University in Sweden.
The survey of nearly 1,000 households in the Indian state showed that six percent of adults were identified as depressed.
People were two or three times more likely to be depressed if they were from the most socially oppressed castes, had taken a recent loan, lived in poor quality housing or had not completed primary school, said the study by mental health researcher Kaaren Mathias.
Mathias has focused over the last four years on how communities in the northern Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh can promote, prevent and treat mental health.
“I was surprised to find such a strong relationship between social disadvantage and mental illness,” said Mathias, who lives in India, where she works as a mental health programme manager with the New Delhi-based non-profit Emmanuel Hospital Association.