The ongoing construction works on a multi-storey building for the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) near the Kozhikode Medical College Chest Hospital will be completed by the end of May. With the opening of the new building, IMHANS, an autonomous institution established by the State government in 1983, will evolve as a centre of excellence with more facilities for treatment, in-depth studies, and research in the mental health sector.
Of the Rs.30 crore allotted by the government, Rs.13 crore has already been spent for the structure. According to IMHANS director P. Krishnakumar, the building will be ready for full-fledged operations by September this year. “With around Rs.5 crore, we will be able to complete the remaining works on the building,” says Dr. Krishnakumar. “We have over three acres of land and it will be sufficient to meet the future development needs of the institute,” he adds.
The construction is now proceeding in an eco-friendly way without bulldozing the surrounding hills.
Along with the opening of the new building, IMHANS is also planning immediate recruitment of the required staff to coordinate mental health activities in a broader way in north Kerala. As per a recent proposal submitted to the government, the institute needs over 150 more staff, including doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and skilled technicians, for its full-fledged functioning.
“The proposal for recruitment is now under the consideration of the Finance Department, which is expected to take a favourable decision at the earliest,” says Dr. Krishnakumar.
According to him, the government has already created 12 new posts besides deputing an administrative officer for the supervision of various developmental activities here.
The new building comes as a great relief for IMHANS as it had been struggling to conduct intervention programmes in the field of child psychiatry, community-level mental rehabilitation initiatives, and child guidance clinics for adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems. According to the IMHANS director, a new community development scheme is also on the cards for the Malabar region.