The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) is an Institute of National Importance governed by the act of Parliament titled NIMHANS Act, 2012. This institute is multidisciplinary institute for patient care, academic pursuit and cutting edge research in the field of mental health and neurosciences. The Central Government recognized its eminent academic position, growth and contributions, and declared it a ‘Deemed University’ in 1994. In 2012, NIMHANS was conferred the status of an ‘Institute of National Importance’
As per the NIMHANS Act, 2012 legislation the main objectives are to:
(a) Develop patterns of teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education,
(b) Bring together educational facilities for the training of personnel in important branches of health activity, and
(c) Be self-sufficient in meeting the country’s needs for specialists and medical teachers.
NIMHANS is synonymous with providing high standards of clinical care, quality training and cutting-edge research in the frontier areas. Combined priorities for comprehensive patient care, manpower development and research, stem from the commitment to an integrated and multidisciplinary approach which addresses societal needs. The advances in genomics, computational neuroscience, mathematical modelling, neuroimaging, molecular biology and a host of new disciplines including public health are being translated to help humanity in need and promote the growth of knowledge. A special feature of this Institute since its inception is the combination of research and training with promotive, preventive and curative aspects of clinical services in Mental Health and Neurosciences. The manpower development programmes at NIMHANS reflect the strides in fusing together and nurturing behavioural sciences, neurosciences, basic biological sciences and ancient health systems. The Institute provides inputs to the Central and State Governments in areas including the establishment of new psychiatric facilities, improvement of existing facilities and strategizing a national programme for mental health. The Institute has emerged as the nodal centre for evolving national policies in the field of mental health, neurosciences and injury. This exemplifies a unique model of successful partnership between the Union and State Governments (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare). NIMHANS has made significant progress and is a centre for excellence in mental health and neuroscience in the country. NIMHANS has produced more than 1,000 Psychiatrists, about 600 Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatric Nurses so far—who are working in both national and international contexts.
The NIMHANS is providing community care for past four decades and have pioneered through various community outreach programs, Sakalwara Mental Health Service Center and Well Being at BTM layout, Bangalore. This vast rich expertise needs to be tapped to implement national mental health program. The Community Psychiatry is a broad area encompassing wide ranging topics and vast array of issues and developments. It being a critical area of psychiatry, forms one of the key areas for post graduate examiners to test the knowledge that students possess, particularly in their viva-voce examinations. Apart from historical and landmark developments in the field, lot of exciting new developments have occurred in the area in the past two decades. Some of these are the initiatives by the National Human Rights Commission, expansion of the District Mental Health Program covering 2/3rds of the country, newer initiatives under the National Mental Health Program, research evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of community-based interventions both in terms of reducing symptoms and also mitigating the psychiatric disability, the National Mental Health Survey co-ordinated by our institute, which for the first time, gave national level figures on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, disability caused by them and the existent systems in order to tackle the same. Last, but not the least is the exploitation of technology to increase mental health human resources in the country and as a means of integrating mental health care into primary health care.
In this endeavor, the Department of Psychiatry, particularly its Community Psychiatry unit has updated to encompass the broader vision to meet the national challenges to provide services to the needy An Alliance for Public Psychiatry Center (APP) was envisaged to reach the unreached.