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Farmers' Protests, Death by Suicides, and Mental Health Systems in India: Critical Questions

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Abstract

Ongoing farmers' protests have once again brought back the spotlight on the agrarian crisis in India. Even though upstream factors that perpetuate farmers' suffering, including the role of the state in promoting agrocapitalism, have been discussed extensively by scholars and activists across the spectrum, mental health discourses almost always frame it as a mental health problem to be addressed by increasing access to psychopharmaceuticals. Drawing on developments around farmers' protests and analysis of articles published in flagship journals of largest professional bodies of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in India, I highlight the intimate relationship between neoliberal state and farmers' distress to which the mental health system shuts its ears and eyes obscuring and downplaying socio-structural determinants of farmers' mental health.

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Dec 2021 340 0 0 340