Vikram patel: mental health

s Mental Health for All Vikram Patel’s TED talk highlights one of the biggest disparities between mentally stable and unstable people, which is the difference in the quality of the health care services provided to them in developing countries. He highlights the example of two individual from similar backgrounds given different quality of treatments, which in turn affects their life expectancy, increasing the gap by almost 20 years. The lack of care given to people with mental illnesses greatly affects their social and occupational functioning. Mental illness constitutes 15% of the global disease burden; moreover there are not many mental health providers in India, which in turn exacerbates the situation at hand. (Patel, 2012)
Vikram’s alternative for the lack of mental care givers is the revolutionary idea called SUNDAR. The term is an acronym for various tasks that can be used as an alternative and more effective treatment, it stands for: Simplifying the message, UN-pack complex health treatment simpler one, Deliverance to the relevant people, Affordability of the treatment and Reallocation of specialized role to people. The main idea behind this treatment method is to train individuals to provide support to the mentally challenged individuals. It enables people to find treatment outside the confines of a traditional hospital setting, therefore helps people come to terms with their mental state, which is often stigmatized in developing countries.
Indeed SUNDAR is not something that is just relevant to developing countries, but developed ones as well. SUNDAR can definitely be used to expand the scope of treating mental illnesses by giving the power to normal people. It will provide insight into mental illnesses and make them more tolerant, especially in developed societies like United States as well. As Patel (2012) points out that the health care costs are spiraling out of control, SUNDAR makes sense in helping people curtail the cost and empowering ordinary people to help those in need. In American society, SUNDAR can be used by family and friends of individuals suffering from mental illnesses are capable of helping them out. It would be a good reinforcer of family values in America and will also strengthen the community spirit, by making people more sensitive and open to tackling these issues. From a social workers’ point of view, the role of a social worker is to raise awareness within the masses regarding SUNDAR, back up the findings regarding SUNDAR through extensive research and direct practice of this technique to give people first-hand knowledge of this strategy.
Patel, V. (2012). Vikram Patel: Mental Health for All by Involving All. Retrieved from