India’s mental health crisis has come to the fore with the challenges brought down by the pandemic. Few of the expectations from budget related to the sector includes:
1. To increase the budget allocated to Health so that the part assigned to Mental Health can be increased in order to reduce the treatment gap.
2. Earmarking a portion of the Mental Health budget and resources for an effective implementation and tighter governance of Mental Health policies and regulation.
The general public would be greatly benefitted if exemption or even reduction of GST for counseling services can be considered. This will ensure greater affordability of quality services. Currently, the GST exemption is on a few subcategories, with some ambiguity. It needs to be relooked at, stated clearly and the burden be reduced especially for companies who are trying to reduce the treatment gap through an aggregator model-connecting more and more people in need of mental health care to qualified psychologists.