San Clemente, Calif. — Tonmoy Sharma, M.B.B.S., M.Sc., founder and CEO of Sovereign Health, discusses the grave shortage of behavioral health providers and facilities in India in an interview with Pharmabiz. According to India government officials, the country has witnessed a 455 percent increase in drug busts from 2011 to 2013. In the nearly four years since that time, the problem of drug addiction throughout the country has grown at an alarming rate. India is a prime location for the transit, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs.
For India, there is a geographic problem, going by its proximity to the major opium-producing regions of Southwest and South East Asia which fuels the epidemic. These deadly substances are easily moved into the interior of the country, and it is taking its toll.
“Despite federal laws that require health insurance companies to provide mental health services on par with other medical conditions, it is still a struggle to obtain approval for the full spectrum of care required,” says Dr. Sharma. “Added to this is the shortage of professionals in the field and these hassles discourage many to enter the field of mental healthcare.”
European countries also face a shortage of professionals and treatment networks, but most of the countries have a national healthcare plan which assist in treating disorders earlier. People are able to access primary care providers more often and do not face any financial barriers when seeking treatment.
Even government entities are looking to attract and retain counselors and physicians. There is a dire need for professionals going by the massive shortfall in mental healthcare. “In all countries, without exception, stigma is a barrier to receiving care. Until we all globally can agree that mental health and substance uses are brain diseases,” Dr. Sharma further mentions.
About Tonmoy Sharma
Tonmoy Sharma has spent years crisscrossing the country presenting on measurement-based car at conferences and community events. His hope is that in the not-too-distant future, clinicians and the public nationwide will embrace MBC as the highly successful, evidence-based treatment that is the best approach to treating addiction and mental health issues.
Sharma has been recognized with numerous awards, honors and grants for his work in advancing mental health and its treatment in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. He is a prolific researcher and scientist as well as the author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and five books on schizophrenia and mental illness. Sharma has served on numerous editorial boards, acted as peer reviewer for 14 international medical journals, and has been on various advisory boards governing the development of antipsychotics. He currently co-hosts KABC 790 AM’s “In Your Right Mind,” a cutting-edge, weekly radio show that covers various topics in behavioral health.
About Sovereign Health
Sovereign Health is a network of detox and behavioral health treatment centers. The company consistently ranks as a top provider of behavioral health services, according to the independent eBASIS report from McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. In McLean’s quarterly reports for 2016, Sovereign has surpassed 50 other treatment centers nationwide in several important health care measures.
Sovereign Health’s facilities are licensed in accordance with state regulations. The Joint Commission is the nation’s leading health care standards-setting and accrediting organization and sets a very high bar for qualifying for the Gold Seal designation. Sovereign’s extensive national network of nine facilities across five states also enjoys the distinction of being accredited to provide concurrent mental health and substance use treatment, a rarity in the field.
Sovereign Health’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of high-quality behavioral health treatment services for adults and adolescents, including support services for family members. One factor that differentiates Sovereign from other treatment providers has been the company’s ability to offer separate mental health and addiction or dual diagnosis treatment programs at its facilities. For more information, visit www.sovhealth.com.