Institute of Psychiatry Kolkata to Act as the Nodal Agency
Mental patients are nearly always deprived of the ability to enjoy fundamental human rights. In the hospitals and medical centre meant for the mentally challenged patients, proper care is rarely taken. Now IOP is chosen as the nodal agency to supervise special training.
At last the human rights of the mental patients are ensured to get priority in West Bengal. About 6-7% of the total population suffers from mental and behavioral disorders. Awareness drive for mental patients has been intensified by the West Bengal Government and the health department initiated a series of sensitization programs to enhance the awareness of the rights of the mental health patients all over the state.
The Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), the third oldest surviving mental hospital of the country, which started its existence 194 years back, has a colorful history in Mental Health of India. The state, at present, has six hospitals exclusively for mental health, eleven government medical colleges and 16 district hospitals. Seven sub-divisional hospitals have mental health treatment centres and NGOs run psychiatry consultation at five hospitals.
Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the then Chief Minister of the State of West Bengal, upgraded this Observation Ward to the status of a regular full-scale mental hospital with 30 beds including 10 observation beds in 1950.In 1989 it was incorporated as the teaching, training and research wing of the Department of Psychiatry of the Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research. In the same year it was identified as the United Nations International Drug Control Program’s Nodal Centre by the Ministry of Health, Govt. of India and in 1991, the name was changed to Institute of Psychiatry.
The training to be imparted will enrich the nursing and paramedical staffers. The constant and massive inflow of different types of patients from all over the state (and outside too), hailing from varied socio-cultural backgrounds, seek treatment from this premier institution. Currently different OPD facilities are available like General Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Alcohol and Drug De- addiction Clinic, Sexual Counseling Clinic, Forensic Psychiatry Clinic, OCD Clinic, Mood Disorder Clinic, Geriatric Clinic, Life Skill Education Clinic for Adolescent along with Clinical Psychology, Psychiatric Social Work and Psychiatric Nursing Services. All these opportunities make this place an ideal arena for the development of a holistic and comprehensive mental health programme.
It is a new feather in the cap of the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) that the West Bengal Health Service will act as the nodal agency for conducting the training programme and arrange for the overall supervision of the sensitization programs.
Dr. Jayanta Basu in the center.
The Medical Superintendent of the IOP Dr. Jayanta Basu told the media: “The aim of this training programme is to handle the suspected and detected patients of mental health with compassion”. On Sept 12, Wednesday, a training session has been organized with the nursing staff from the hospitals and departments of mental health at the hospital as a part of this mass sensitization program. Dr. Basu said, “We are also working on improving the quality of stay at the mental health hospitals and departments by installing uninterrupted power supply and diagnostic facilities.” Henceforth, staff from other hospitals and medical centres can also avail of the opportunity for this training which will enrich them more to deal in a more educated way and more sympathetically with the patients. The IOP specialists will supervise them and offer training besides doing their own duties.
The Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee for the last few months insisted on the improvement of the health care facilities in the state hospitals. Now the patients in the state hospitals undergoing treatment for mental ailments can have better medical attention. The nursing and paramedical staff after being properly trained will be able to offer better services to the mentally challenged patients. They are found in many hospitals in a bad condition. Health officials do not take proper care of them and they are dumped in one room for the paucity of space. Some hospitals do not have trained nurses and they end up with mistakes. The training staff is not well aware of the behavioral situations of such patients. In most cases, they behave roughly with the patients and show impatience.
The most common disruptive behavior disorders in children include oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Treatment can include therapy, education and medication. Here the trained nurses and paramedical staff can play a very important role during the treatment of such patients. Presently, the Institute of Psychiatry is functioning as full-fledged Postgraduate Psychiatric Educational and Service. Recently this Institute has been identified as Center of Excellence for manpower development in Mental Health under National Mental Health Programme by Govt. of India. The Institute will now carry on a big responsibility by acting as a Nodal Agency for the Eastern region. Organizations offering such multi-disciplinary services/training are very few in our country. But by offering to act as the nodal agency for the training programme, the IOP, Kolkata with Dr. Jayanta Basu as the Medical Superintendent will be the pioneer in offering training in the related fields in the eastern part of the country.