KSMHTF - Programmes & Implementation.
KARNATAKA STATE MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE- POLICY, PROGRAMMES AND IMPLEMENTATION.
Karnataka government is the first state in the country to have an advisory body to formulate and execute extended mental health programmes all over the state.
The objective is to make Karnataka model mental health state in the world and make available mental health at doorsteps.
Dr. K.A.Ashok Pai is the first appointed chairman of this task force. Appointed on 31.10.2012 (GOVERNMENT NO. HFW 228 CGE 2012) , after travelling all over the state has formulated a plan of action and road map for the mental health activity across the state. Considering the immense potential of the report submitted, the Government has extended his tenure till March 2016.
The main objectives are as follows
1. To propagate the concept of positive mental health through
psycho – education.
2. To dispel the myths and superstition pertaining to mental health
amongst the general population regarding mental illness.
3. To educate people to identify primary mental health symptoms,
differentiate psychosis and neurosis for early referral to
mental health professional.
4. To have a comprehensive mental health service programme
a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, psychiatric social worker
and psychiatric nurses in all the district hospitals.
5. To inspect and monitor existing mental health facilities.
6. To start schools for the residential care of the mentally
retarded children in each district with approximate 50 inmates.
The projects in the process of execution are
1. MANASADHARA SCHEME
Under the Manasadhara Scheme district hospitals in the state will establish day care centers/residential care and rehabilitation for at least 20 men and 20 women patients. This scheme aims at training the patients to learn basic skills which make them productive and employable. The government order specifies that the mental – care centres should be modeled after Manasa Clinic established and nurtured to grow into the biggest such centre in this part of the world. These schemes are utopian and idealistic. They are planned on a private, public partnership model with budgetary provisions made for allocation of government Funds. The rehabilitation centre will be set up at the cost of Rs.1,60 lakhs and per month per center Rs.20,000 would be given to private organizations who volunteer to provide housing facilities for the patients. Another major breakthrough has been the plan for speedy procurement of the required medicines. Until now there was a long and laborious procedure starting with the District Health officer and passing through the Karnataka state drug logistics and ware housing society until receiving the drugs companies after undue delay. Under the new plan psychiatric drugs can be procured and stocked directly from the suppliers by the care givers and the government pays the bill.
2. MANO CHAITANYA SCHEME
Yet another trail blazer initiated by the Mental Health Task Force is the – Mano Chaitanya ‘Super Tuesday’ programme in which Psychiatrists, Psychologists and counsellors would be made available to treat mentally challenged persons in taluk Hospitals, Primary health centres across the state on all Tuesdays. This is a pragmatic Plan to use the available expertise to the optimum. What is admirable is the promptness with which premiere mental Health Institutions like NIMHANS, DIMHANS and Indian Psychiatric Society Karnataka State Branch as well as Practising Psychiatrists have responded to these initiatives.
3. TEACHERS AS COUNSELLORS.
To give handholding programme to teachers in psychology, sociology, biology and social sciences to counsel students on stress management, peer group problems, study problems and improve inter personal relationships.
4. INTRODUCTION OF SEX EDUCATION IN HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADUATION LEVELS.
This was introduced way back in 2003 , as a part of AIDS prevention programme but frizzled out in about 3 years time for want of committed stake holders, opposition from vested interests and lack of back up support from related agencies.
5. SUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINE IN EACH DISTRICT.
The aim is to have trained counsellors in all the districts for providing relief to the distressed in crisis. The trained professional will be provided with financial assistance, telephone charges and other related concurrent expenses.
THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TASK FORCE SO FAR HAS BEEN
Community mental health care facilities.
Support to families.
Human resource development.
Public mental health education.
Private sector mental health care.
Support to voluntary organizations.
Promotion and preventive interventions.
© Ashok Pai 2014