Primary Healthcare & Categories of Mental Health Programmes

Research Paper Title

Innovative Mental Health Initiatives in India: A Scope for Strengthening Primary Healthcare Services.


Mental health burden is a major health concern worldwide.

In the last few decades, we are witnessing innovations that are successfully addressing gaps in the mental health service delivery in Indian context.

This is an opportune time to explore existing innovative mental health initiatives in the country and integrate viable interventions to primary healthcare facilities to strengthen public mental healthcare delivery.


A descriptive review of literature on innovative mental health programs in India was carried out.

The initial search from google scholar and PubMed database yielded 1152 articles, of which 1,114 were excluded that did not meet inclusion criteria.

Full texts of 38 articles were reviewed and finally 22 studies were included for the study.


Based on the review, most innovations are broadly summarised into five categories:

  1. Quality improvement mental health programmes;
  2. Community-based mental health programmes;
  3. Non-specialist mental health programmes;
  4. Mobile technology-based mental health programmes; and
  5. Tele-mental health programmes.

These promising innovations in treatment and care can be customised as per the context for scale up and integrated into the primary healthcare system through the District Mental Health Programme.


The innovative approach not only makes mental health services more accessible and affordable but also empowering in nature by encouraging community members in early detection, prevention of mental illness and appropriate treatment referral to existing primary health care services.


Pandya, A., Shah, K., Chauhan, A. & Saha, S. (2020) Innovative Mental Health Initiatives in India: A Scope for Strengthening Primary Healthcare Services. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 9(2), pp.502-507. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_977_19. eCollection 2020 Feb.

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