The Institute of Mental Health is making efforts to gain autonomy. Grant of autonomy for the institute will increase its potential to serve a larger number of people belonging to the weaker sections, said R. Sathianathan, Director of Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

He was speaking on the sidelines of the visit by Mayor M. Subramanian to IMH to review the progress of observation and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness who were admitted by the civic body.

Mr. Subramanian sought details about the health conditions of those under observation in IMH as part of the initiative of the civic body to rehabilitate mentally ill persons on the streets.

A total of 342 persons with mental illness were taken to the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet for screening and treatment for skin diseases by the Chennai Corporation, said Mr. Subramanian.

The initiative started on April 28 and 162 persons among them were identified for intervention by IMH by a panel of psychiatrists. The civic body admitted 16 of them to an old age home in Royapuram and 35 were handed over to their relatives.

A total of 83 received treatment from the CDH and 46 were admitted to homes run by social service organisations.

“Our intention is not removal of persons with mental illness. We focus on rehabilitation of the persons,” said Mr. Subramanian. The civic body would continue to support and rehabilitate persons with mental illness.

“Patients are under observation and a panel of psychiatrists would take decision on treatment after the observation period,” said Dr. Sathianathan.

The National Human Rights Commission recently issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, calling for a report on the initiative within four weeks.

More In: Chennai