Self-help group for people with mental disabilities to be set up

A special postal cover, marking the silver jubilee year of Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) India, was released here on Monday.

Receiving the cover, Mayor M.Subramanian said that NGOs play a key role in reaching out to the underprivileged. Chennai Corporation has roped in many NGOs to speed up developmental works in various departments, including education and health.

“We follow stringent rules in identifying the organisations before offering them the developmental projects. Education, in particular, has seen a tremendous improvement through many such initiatives. Recently, we selected four rag-pickers from the night shelter and mainstreamed them in Corporation schools,” he said.

Lauding the works of SCARF, Mr. Subramanian suggested that a camp be conducted for people with mental disabilities who were not included in the State government's disability list. Responding to an appeal from the SCARF director R. Thara, he assured that a self-help group for people with mental disabilities will be set up in the city.

On the activities of SCARF, Ms.Thara said the organisation will launch a mobile telemedicine van, sponsored by Tata group, at Pudukottai. The van would provide tele-counselling for people with mental illness and psychiatrists would visit the place once every month for follow-up treatments, she said.

Releasing the special cover, M.S.Ramanujan, Post Master General, Chennai City Region, said that the awareness and understanding about schizophrenia were still low among people. The release of special postal cover was a tribute to the works of SCARF, he said.

SCARF Founder M. Sarada Menon and Additional Director Shanta Kamath spoke.