Day care centres to give succour to mentally ill

 All district hospitals in the State will soon have a Day Care Centre to help patients with mental illnesses recover soon. They will also offer vocational training to them post recovery. 

The centres will be started on a public-private partnership model by the State government. A team of experts will facilitate starting of the centres. Based on the interest and abilities of individuals, they will be trained in various fields. Patients will be taught simple tasks such as candle-making, craft work and computers. 

Dr Mamata, district family welfare officer and mental health officer, Bangalore, told Deccan Herald that they had invited applications from non-government and voluntary organisations to set up the centres. Each of these centres has been allotted Rs 1.6 lakh, she said. The NGOs are expected to satisfy a list of conditions to get permission to start the centres. 

“Among the main conditions are that they should have a minimum of three years experience in the field of mental health and an able psychiatrist on board who can treat patients,” Mamata said. Along with the psychiatrist, social workers who will be a part of the team will be entrusted with the responsibility of counselling the family members. 

This facility had to be put in place by November last year. However, due to various technical challenges, it was put off. Officials hope that the first-of-its-kind initiative will be operational in a month.

Mamata said that since Bangalore did not have a district hospital of its own, C V Raman Hospital in Indiranagar was chosen for starting the centre. The office of the district health officer had, earlier this month, invited applications from non-governmental organisations to start the day care centres. 

The officer has received five applications so far. 

“Of the five NGOs that have applied, only two fulfil the criteria,” she said. A committee formed by the deputy commissioner is looking into further details, the officer said. Once the centres are approved, there will be a review of their functioning every three months, she added. 

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