Nimhans to train general physicians

Nimhans to train general physicians

In a bid to find a solution to the shortage of mental health professionals in the country, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) hopes to empower general physicians to handle mental health cases.

Under the Nimhans digital academy, it plans to train primary care physicians to attend to patients with the basic mental illness.

In a way forward, the institution recently started a three-month Diploma course in Community Mental Health for doctors, social workers, nurses and counsellors.

Through the course, MBBS doctors would be imparted the set of skills that they ought to know to treat mental illness.

Speaking to DH, Dr B N Gangadhar, director, Nimhans, said one layer of primary care professionals is being fortified to attend to mental health cases.

“We are not looking at creating specialists here. We are only empowering the existing professionals, Gangadhar said.

“The philosophy that a psychiatrist’s help should be sought for mental illness has to go. Else, we will eternally have a shortage of mental health professionals. With this move, the stigma would also be reduced and highly skilled professionals can only attend to severe cases,” he said.

Nimhans has already received 500 applications in week.