Staff Reporter

Implementation of Revised National Mental Health Programme to start soon

Centre allocates Rs. 1,000 crore for implementation of the programme

There is great demand for mental health professionals: Dr. Nagaraja

Bangalore: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has allocated Rs. 1,000 crore for implementation of the Revised National Mental Health Programme under the 11th Five-Year Plan.

The amount would be disbursed soon and the process of implementation would begin shortly, Director and Vice-Chancellor of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) D. Nagaraja said here on Saturday.

Speaking after inaugurating the 19th annual conference of the Indian Psychiatric Society’s Karnataka Branch (KANCIPS), Dr. Nagaraja said the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) was restructured to address the growing mental health needs of the country.

Asserting that the gap between neurology and psychiatry would soon disappear as both related to functioning of the brain, Dr. Nagaraja said there was a huge demand for mental health professionals in the country to cater to the large population with severe mental disorders.

Dr. Mathew Varghese, president of the Indian Psychiatric Society, Karnataka branch, said that members of the society took up prevention of mental health disorders on priority.

Pointing out that psychiatrists should be actively involved in prevention and health promotion activities, Dr. Varghese said there was a need to educate the public through awareness campaigns to spread the message that mental disorders could be treated. Former Director and Vice-Chancellor of NIMHANS S.M. Channabasavanna spoke.

Awards

Saranya Devanathan and M. Ramachandra were conferred with the Eminent Psychiatrist Award in recognition of their contribution to the field of psychiatry.

While Dr. Satishchanda Girmaji delivered the L.G.P. Achar Memorial Oration, Dr. Ravi Narayan delivered the Prof. R.L. Kapur Memorial Lecture.

The scientific session of the conference on Sunday will include presentation of papers on mental health.

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