Karnataka

Lancet paper highlights child and adolescent care model of NIMHANS

NIMHANS’ SAMVAD model was principally approved by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in October 2019.

NIMHANS’ SAMVAD model was principally approved by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in October 2019. | Photo Credit: File photo

Highlighting the SAMVAD model by NIMHANS, a recent paper published in The Lancet Regional Health - Southeast Asia has said that this model is the way forward to strengthening the nation’s response to child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) issues.

Titled ‘A transdisciplinary public health model for child and adolescent mental healthcare in low and middle income countries’, the paper was published on June 17.

SAMVAD (Support, Advocacy and Mental health interventions for children in Vulnerable circumstances And Distress) is a model of inter-sectoral collaboration and technology leveraging to build capacity of child care workers. Carved out from the erstwhile Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service project, a collaborative project of NIMHANS and Karnataka’s Department of Women and Child Development, SAMVAD was principally approved by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in October 2019.

K. John Vijay Sagar, professor and Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NIMHANS who is the principal investigator of the project, told The Hindu that the model is a unique initiative that serves as a resource for the country. “It has been initiated to increase access to and availability of child and adolescent mental health and protection support and services through the use of integrated approaches to child well-being,” he said.

“This model applies innovative teaching and learning methods of participatory, creative and skill-based pedagogies, to deliver training programs focusing on the fundamentals of child mental health and protection work that is relevant to low and middle income countries (LMICs). The model explains frameworks and methodologies that make the training and capacity building done by SAMVAD scalable and standardised while allowing for adaptation of materials to specific professional needs and functions of various types of child care workers and service providers,” Dr. Sagar explained.

During pandemic

Assuming operations during the COVID pandemic, in the wake of heightened protection and CAMH concerns, SAMVAD leveraged technology, through creation of virtual knowledge networks and adaptation of in-person training workshops to online programs, enabling CAMH to permeate to remote districts of the country, the doctor said. 

“So far, the model has reached across the country, to cover 1,16,243 (child care) service providers and duty-bearers through capacity building initiatives and tele-mentoring services and 26,32,875 stakeholders and citizens (namely parents, teachers, protection functionaries, health workers and other interested parties) through public discourse series, all of which are delivered in diverse Indian languages,” he said.

According to the Lancet paper, the SAMVAD model has been designed to work in four verticals - Care and Protection, Education, Mental Health and Law and Policy. “It employs transdisciplinary approaches to enable solutions to complex CAMH problems through dialogue and capacitation of stakeholders from multiple disciplines. SAMVAD undertakes research, training and capacity building and related services, using methodologies that draw upon mono-disciplinary expertise, whilst also amalgamating the diverse viewpoints that characterise systemic and sectoral priorities of individual stakeholders interacting with children,” the paper stated.

“SAMVAD’s essential training program focuses on the fundamentals of child mental health and protection work that would be relevant to LMICs. These include sensitisation to children and childhood experiences, application of child development concepts, identification of vulnerability and protection risks and contexts, communication and counselling techniques with children, provision of first level responses to common child mental health disorders and key provisions of child law in India, so as to locate the implementation of the law in relevant child psychosocial and protection contexts,” according to the paper.

“This content is adapted to the specific professional needs and functions of various types of child care workers and service providers. More in-depth and specialized programs, such as those focusing on child sexual abuse, children in conflict with the law and children with disability, and early childhood education are also delivered, particularly to secondary and tertiary level child care workers across various sectors,” the paper added.


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 11:48:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lancet-paper-highlights-child-and-adolescent-care-model-of-nimhans/article65582417.ece