| Published: May 08, 2019
Perception of Mental Illness and Healing Practises among Villagers in Gwalior District
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.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2019, N Hazarika, & G Kanhere
Received: March 20, 2019; Revision Received: May 06, 2019; Accepted: May 08, 2019
Published in Volume 07, Issue 2, April-June, 2019