Year: 2001 Source: Anthropology and Medicine, v.8, no.1, (April 2001), p.109-130 SIEC No: 20020755

The Sundarban Delta of West Bengal was, until recently, without designated mental health services or a community mental health program. To inform development of such a program for the region, & to complement epidemiological study of rates of suicide, nonfatal deliberate self-harm, & specific psychiatric disorders, cultural epidemiological research was undertaken. Findings from 3 villages of 2 Sundarban blocks are presented/discussed. focusing on particular stresses & supports in the community, local priority of mental health concerns, & concepts of mental illness. Mental-illness related experience, meaning, & behaviour was studied among 1) patients coming for treatment with selected mental disorders, 2) patients admitted after surviving an episode of deliberate self-harm, 3) non-affected laypersons in the community & 4) health care providers with diverse orientations & credentials serving the community. (14 refs.)