In a first-of-its-kind initiative, a 50-bed Emergency Care and Recovery Centre (ECRC) has been opened here at the Old Government Hospital campus here on Wednesday.
The TN Khadi and Village Industries Minister G. Baskaran, who was the chief guest, told reporters that the State government had taken a number of measures to give treatment to the needy, especially, the poor. One among the welfare programs was the ECRC, he said.
The National Health Mission, The Institute of Mental Health, The Banyan and Tamil Nadu government have come together to establish the ECRC in 12 districts across the State in a phased manner.
District Collector P. Madhusudan Reddy said that the public, who had information about any mentally ill person wandering in any locality in the district, can call 102, 89409-91401 and 90034-11714.
The objective of the ECRC is to rescue the persons with mental illness, rehabilitate them and after successful intervention, they would be helped to rejoin their families, said Deputy Director Archana Padmakar of Banyan-ECRC, Chennai.
Apart from Sivaganga, it has been proposed to set up the ECRC in Madurai, Cuddalore, Tiruchi, Tenkasi, Erode, Nilgiris, Thanjavur, Thoothukudi, Krishnagiri, Coimbatore and Kanniyakumari district respectively, she said and added that they would enter into an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this connection with the district administrations.
The GH Dean Rethnavel said that 50 beds have been earmarked for the treatment of the patients here at the Old GH campus. Apart from the contribution of social workers from the Banyan, they would also guide in the process of rehabilitation.
The Health department officials said that after treatment, as a part of rehabilitation, the patients can be given skill based training by the NGOs and social workers. By doing so, the persons can be useful economically in the family. Thus, reunion and economic well being would help the families to rebuild for a better future, they added.
The government would provide monthly assistance, identity cards and among other facilities for the inmates during the treatment time in the ECRC.
National Health Mission Program Officer Dr Naganathan proposed a vote of thanks.