Bengaluru

Dispelling myths and stigma about mental health care

Over 40 citizens participated in the walking tour on Saturday.

Over 40 citizens participated in the walking tour on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

NIMHANS organises a first of its kind guided tour of the facility

The National Institute of Mental Health Sciences, or NIMHANS, was often referred to as ‘mental hospital’ perpetuating a stigma about mental health and its treatment, something the institute wants to dispel.

NIMHANS organised ‘Stories Against Stigma: Walking Tour of Nimhans’, a first of its kind guided tour of the facility for the public on Saturday, which saw 42 people participate.

“Stereo-types about treatment for mental health issues stem from popular culture, especially films, that usually portray ‘shock treatment’. But the modes of treatment have evolved, which the public is not aware of,” said Dr. T. Shivakumar, associate professor of psychiatry, NIMHANS, who conducted the guided tour.

From medicinal herb gardens to yoga and theatre, the institute provides holistic treatment solutions. The institute houses a yoga centre that seeks to integrate the traditional science of mind with modern psychiatry.

The institute uses theatre to treat patients. The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services centre provides scope for patients to improve their vocational skills and houses units for candle-making, baking and printing. The centre also has a cafe, which is run by the patients.

The campus is designed to aid the holistic treatment of patients.

“The campus has around 400 different species of trees and plants. Medicinal herbs known to aid in the cure of specific neurological and mental condition are part of the flora. Their aromas help in the healing of patients. The institute was modelled to create a connection with nature through large arenas to accommodate good air ventilation and sunlight ”, said Dr. K.S. Meena, Associate Professor at NIMHANS.

Purva, a student who participated in the walkthrough, said, “The trip was a great learning experience. I was always curious about the institute and the treatment for mental health issues. The trip helped dispel a lot of myths and stereotypes.”

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:00:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/dispelling-myths-and-stigma-about-mental-health-care/article29543603.ece

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