Comparative Study

| Published: May 08, 2019

Perception of Mental Illness and Healing Practises among Villagers in Gwalior District

Nikita Hazarika

Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer, Royal Global University, Guwahati, Assam, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Gargee Kanhere

Clinical Psychologist, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.022/20190702

DOI: 10.25215/0702.022


Mental health awareness and resources for treatment is still scarce in India. Thus, a large majority of rural population remain inclined towards ‘Traditional methods’ of healing. The present study aimed to understand the perception of mental illness, and various approaches to treatment, among rural population around the city of Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. A semi structured interview was conducted with 20 individuals that included 18 villagers and 2 faith healers. Sampling technique utilized were purposive sampling and snowball sampling, respectively. Phenomenology approach was applied, and the data was analysed through thematic analysis. The community members consider mental health as important but the concept and management of it remain obscure. The villagers seem to be open to seeking treatment and the first choice includes seeing doctors in local dispensaries and aanganvadis. Failure in the former encourages the villagers to go for traditional healing practises which is considered a more reliable, reasonable, and easily accessible form of treatment. Despite their emerging beliefs in medical model, they are still rooted in traditional healing practises that have been prevalent across generations. Collaboration between traditional healers and the medical model can help sensitize the community members about mental illness and build better integrative models of treatment.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 07, Issue 2, April-June, 2019