Mental Illness: Govt approves first-of-its-kind mental health rehab institute

The National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation.  It will serve as an institution of excellence to develop capacity building in the area of mental health rehabilitation and also help the government to develop models for effective rehabilitation of persons with mental illness

IMental Illness: Govt approves first-of-its-kind mental health rehab institute
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  • Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. But, deteriorating mental health is a severe issue in the country.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind had spoken about mental health issues in December last year, he said, “Our society has to fight this culture of stigma. We need to talk about mental health issues and treat ailments such as depression and stress as diseases that can be cured – not as guilty secrets to be pushed under the carpet. 10 per cent of Indians have one or more mental health problem. A number larger than the entire population of Japan.”

The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

The estimated cumulative cost of the project is Rs. 179.54 crore in first three years. This includes non-recurring expenditure of Rs. 128.54 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs. 51 crore.

The union cabinet has also approved the proposal to create three Joint Secretary level posts, which include one post of Director of the Institute and two posts of Professors.

The main objectives of the NIMHR are to provide rehabilitation services to the persons with mental illness, capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation, policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation.

The Institute will have nine departments/centres and will conduct 12 courses to offer diploma, certificate, graduate, post graduate, M.Phil degrees in the area of mental health rehabilitation. Within a span of 5 years, the student intake of the institute in various courses is expected to be over 400.

The government of Madhya Pradesh has allocated 5 acres of land in Bhopal for setting up of this Institute. The Institute will be established in three years in two phases.

Within two years, the civil and electrical work of the institute will be completed. Simultaneously, during the construction of building, the Institute will run in a suitable rented building in Bhopal to conduct certificate/diploma courses and also OPD services.

Subsequently, the Institute will provide complete set of rehabilitation services for persons with mental illness and conduct courses up to Master’s degree and M.Phil.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Sagar Mundada, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist, said, “Patients who are suffering from mental illness need rehabilitation as well. Even though the patient recovers, one cannot be sure that he/she will be able to walk freely in the society. In that case, they require social skills as well. Currently, there is no course available in India, which will cater the rehabilitation services. But, with this institute patients will surely get the benefit.”

Dr Heena Merchant, Ex-secretary of the Bombay Psychiatry Association and assistant professor at KEM Hospital, said, “This is a very positive step taken by the government. Mental illness is a long-term health condition, so rehabilitation plays a very important role. With rehab, the patient can stand on his own feet again and move more freely in the society. The rehabilitation institute will help them become independent.”