10 December 2017
First national conference on rehabilitation of persons with mental illness concluded at Government Medical College Chandigarh (GMCH), Sector 32 here.
NGO’s working for those suffering from mental health issues were awarded on the concluding day. In the category of Most Prestigious Award i.e. the best NGO award there were 5 presentations. Best NGO was awarded was MS Chellamuttu amongst the 5 NGO which competed for the same. The Indira Mehndiratta Award for best research in mental health by student was given to Mr. James JW, Dr. Suraj Bhan Award for best innovative practice in the field of Mental Health was awarded to Dr. TSS Rao.
Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College Chandigarh (GMCH) along with Parivartan – a mental health movement had organised the conference. The theme of the conference was ‘Support for caregivers and persons with mental illness: Innovative approaches.
In the scientific sessions, Mr. Shahzada Khurram from FACEMI NGO based in New Delhi and he shared his experiences as a care giver of his sister, who was abandoned by her husband and Mr. Khurram is taking care of his sister and her 10-year-old daughter, he shared his journey as a caregiver full of agony, and obstacles, and how this care giving affected his whole life. Because of his personal suffering he took up the job of advocacy and along with his mentors Dr. Nirmala Srinivasan, who could not attend the conference due to health issues but got part in the conference via skype, she also shared her contribution in the mental issues.
Another lecture by Mr. Bipin Malia, who is a Balasar, Gujarat based caregiver group leader shared his experience of setting up half way home for the recovered persons with mental illness without any mental support. Another invited lecture by Ms. Rita Seth, who runs Gurgaon based NGO and talked about her work on mental health issues of rural based population, using street play, puppet show and other innovative methods. Lastly lecture by D. C Ramasubramaniam from the Chellamattu trust Madurai shared his experience of setting up rehab facilities for 300 persons suffering from intellectual disabilities. He has setup this facility through networking through various department, he also shared his experience of not only proving care and support but also explouted existing government schemes including MNREGA for the benefits of persons
In the free paper oral presentation, amongst total of 9 presentations, Dr. Sai Prashant Bansal was awarded the best, along with Ms. Kanupriya and Ms. Neha John, while in the free poster presentation out of 13 Dr. Harneet, Dr. Kshitiz, Dr. Shikha were adjudged the best.
During the valedictory function, the organising chairman Prof BS Chavan, HOD, Department of Psychiatry cum Additional Director, Mental Health Institute presented a brief report of the 2-day national conference, in which there were 250 registered delegates, nine invited lectures, four workshops two panel discussions, 12 free papers and 21 posters. He said as of now that the psychiatry departments in medical care, private nursing homes and clinics are delivering only 10-15 % mental health care facilities, and the rest is being taken care by the care givers, and NGOs, which hence had a major role to play.