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Abstract

PILOT SURVEY OF THE MENTAL HEALTH STATUS OF FARMING FAMILIES IN EIGHT VILLAGES OF AURANGABAD DISTRICT, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA

*Madhuri Gavit, Devaki Vasudeo and Pratibha Phatak

ABSTRACT

The mental and behavioural problems are increasing the global burden of disease. Since the past few years there has been an increase in the number of farmer suicides in India. These suicides can be attributed to crop failure, debt, alcoholism, family problems and physical illness. We conducted our pilot study in Aurangabad district of Marathwada region in Maharashtra, India. This is a predominantly drought prone region and has seen a rise in the number of suicides in the past few years. Based on these issues we conducted a pilot study to assess mental health status of farming families in 8 villages of the Aurangabad district. A Cross-sectional descriptive study was used on a sample size of 689 farming families between the ages of 18-60 years. A psychiatric history taking questionnaire was used to interview the families. Our results revealed that drought was not a driving force of suicides (mental illnesses) and that these could be related to other aspects such as alcoholism (24.89%), family disputes (22.7%), loss of land, debt and loss of money (23.41%).

Keywords: Drought, Farming Family, Mental health, Suicides.


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