Mental health issues and infectious disease like TB are inextricably linked epidemics.

Public health systems are yet to acknowledge or actively address mental health challenges and TB as comorbidities that affect individuals, their ability to fight TB, and live a productive life after.

In high-burden settings like India’s, mental health concerns are often overlooked and not treated as a priority. What is not realised, however, is that mental health issues have a direct bearing on patient well-being, quality of care and the ability to continue treatment. As a result, marginalising mental health issues impacts disease transmission and the disease burden in TB and other diseases.

TB patients, and often survivors, are known to develop mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorder, loss of interpersonal relationships, and the perennial self-esteem issues both as a result of diagnosis and treatment.

Our work focuses on the relationship between mental health and TB and the consequent challenges that emerge. Combining survivor experiences and expert inputs, we aim to create a nuanced conversation on mental health and TB as co-morbidities.

In doing so, SATB works to create people-centric approaches and models on TB and mental health and advocates on the need for, access to and impact of inclusion of mental health services for TB affected individuals and families.