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Community Psychiatry

Sakalawara Community Mental Health Centre

SCMHC (Sakalawara Community Mental Health Centre) is situated at a picturesque

13-acre site near Sakalawara village (Anekal Taluk, Bangalore Rural District) 18 kms away from Bangalore. It was formally inaugurated in December 1976 by Dr. Karan Singh- the then Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. The centre was started with co-operation of Mahabodhi Society, which has continued to support all its endeavors. Ever since then, this centre has been the hub of all community mental health activities at NIMHANS. The centre has indeed gone a long way in developing a variety of programmes for development of community based mental health care in the country.

Clinical services

  a)  Outpatient Clinical Care: Triple specialty clinic – Sakalawara Community Mental Health Centre provides an outpatient services for the benefit of citizens of its catchment area thrice weekly basis on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9am to 1pm (Registration is up to 11.30AM), To provide this, the model of triple specialty clinics on each day is been followed as below


Common Mental Disorders (CMD) Clinic


Severe Mental Disorders (SMD) Clinic


Alcohol and Tobacco Addiction (ATA) Clinic


b)  Sakalawara Rehabilitation Services (SRS) – The services provided are step-down psychiatric care & psychosocial rehabilitation of patients stable on medications for more than 4-6 weeks. The services include Daily Living Skills, Behavioural Work, Group Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Family Therapy & Yoga carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals. The services provided are also customized according to the individual need of the patient. Very often, a liaison is set up with industries in & around the centre that can provide vocational training which will be useful for some of the patients in the real-world scenario.

c)  Home Care Services – Team member visits the home of select patients in its catchment area for continuity of care and ensures treatment adherence for patients with Severe Mental Disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc.) are conducted twice monthly on second and fourth Tuesdays.

d) School Mental Health ProgrammeThis program is conducted every week on Fridays and coordinated by psychiatric social work team. It involves visits of a multidisciplinary team including psychiatry, social work and psychiatry trainees to high schools and conducts various promotional and prevention activities. Topics covered include life skills education such as how to manage peer pressure, problem-solving skills, assertiveness skills, communication skills, stress-management including mindfulness meditation, mental health awareness, self-awareness and sex education, exam preparation and memory improvement as suitable according to age.

e) Vocational Rehabilitation service – The services are provided to the patients in collaboration with various agencies utilizing the principles of “place and train” of supported employment. The multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrist and the social work are involved in this. A detailed vocational assessment is done and based on the patient’s rehabilitation requirements and strengths; these services are provided with the aim of achieving functional improvement as well as financial independence of the patients.

f) Sakalawara In-house Activities: The in-house activities at SRS include group therapy, cooking demonstration by patients in turns on a weekly basis and tea party hosted by each patient and his/her family on monthly once. Others include shop-keeping activity alongside regular involvement of patients in crafts, drawing, tailoring and sports activities.

g) Mental Health Education Program: The Nursing team of the SCMHC holds Health Education Program for both IP and OP patients. It helps in creating mental health awareness and topics covered vary from psychiatric disorders to the general wellbeing like sleep hygiene and stress reduction.