Recommendations for maternal mental health policy in India

Urvashi Priyadarshini, Arathi P. Rao, Sambit Dash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mental illnesses are a serious concern in India where every seventh person suffers from mental health problems—with women more affected than men. While the burden of perinatal mental illnesses grows, India lacks exclusive policies to address it. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on routine antenatal care and institutional deliveries and has also affected the mental health of pregnant women and mothers. We evaluated existing policies. Policy options were evaluated against criteria like cost–benefit analysis, administrative feasibility, human resources, and equity along with the intended and unintended consequences. We propose three policy options: (1) strengthening and focused implementation of the existing national mental health program (NMHP), (2) integrating mental health in the ongoing Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Program, and (3) including a ‘maternal’ component in NMHP. We offered policy recommendations to fill the gap in addressing the maternal mental health challenge in India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-101
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 03-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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