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Articles > India's Mentally Ill Turn To Faith, Not Medicine

Aug 9, 2010
by Miranda Kennedy (NPR)

First of two parts

HANUMANTHAPURAM, India — In India, there is only 1 psychiatrist for every 400,000 people, according to a recent study by the Indian government. It is one of the lowest ratios anywhere in the world.

It means that most people in India go untreated for substance abuse problems, severe depression and psychotic disorders. Or rather, they go untreated by doctors. Instead, they turn to the gods.

Many people believe one particular South Indian temple can heal the mentally ill.

Full story: Faith healers, temple doctors most socially acceptable cure of mental illness