Mental health research

The research focus has been in the areas of – estimating the burden and impact of mental disorders, risk behaviours, understanding service utilization patterns, role of complementary systems of medicine in managing mental disorders and others. Based on the life course perspective, research activities have focused from maternal to elderly mental health along with youth and occupational mental health. In addition, focused topics of research include mental health risk factor surveillance, tobacco and alcohol use and suicides. Refer to Resource section for more details…….

After completion of the pilot survey in the public health observatory in Kolar, the Department of Epidemiology and Centre for Public Health was entrusted with the responsibility of developing – implementing – and coordinating the first ever National Mental Health Survey in India by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India. The results and implications of the survey were reviewed by Shri. Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, MoHFW, Shri. Oma Nand, Director (H), MoHFW and Prof. BN Gangadhar, Director, NIMHANS in a joint meeting held on 1 June 2016 at NIMHANS. The Summary Report of NMHS was released at New Delhi by Smt. Anupriya Patel and Shri. Faggan Singh Kulaste, Hon’ble Ministers for State for Health and Family Welfare on 10 October 2016 on the occasion of World Mental Health Day celebrations. The first report titled “Prevalence, Pattern and Outcomes” containing detailed information on methods and results of survey and the second report titled “Mental Health Systems” which has the details on current status of mental health services and programmes across 12 states were also released at the Convocation of NIMHANS on 27 December 2016. The reports were disseminated across the state teams and to ministries that were involved in NMHS.

Maternal mental health

Child Mental Health
The department has undertaken research in collaboration with Department of child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS to identify the burden and pattern of child and adolescent psychiatric problems across two cities of India. Adolescents in 13-17 years are included in the ongoing National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) across 4 states of India. The efforts are in progress to develop and implement the child mental health programmes in the public health observatory of Kolar.

Research Projects 

1. Survey of child and adolescent psychiatric problems- two centre study (Bangalore and Lucknow).  
2. Developing a district roadmap for integrated child mental health services – A situational analysis of Child Health with special focus on Child mental health in Kolar District, Karnataka, India.
3. Iodine Deficiency Disorders – A re-survey in Kolar
4. National Mental Health Survey 


Youth mental health

Youth is a critical period in an individual’s life in terms of being formative of their adulthood. Youth is a transitional phase with unique challenges and special needs. These may be physical, social, psychological, behavioural and spiritual challenges. All these would impact on the overall development of youth to lead a happy and productive life.

India has the largest youth population in the world with around 550 million (Census 2011). 70% of India’s population is below the age of 35 years. This pool needs to be engaged in the mainstream development of India. It is indeed vital to utilise this demographic dividend and channelize the youth and their creative energies for nation-building.

The department seeks to strengthen components of research, training and interventions for resolving mental health issues among youth which will have significant impact on overall mental health status of the youth.

Research Projects 
1.Pilot Study on Youth Mental Health Behavior Survey in Bangalore: Phase 1-Development of Methodology and Questionnaire Validation, Funded by NIMHANS 2013-14
2.Adolescent and Youth Health Survey at Himachal Pradesh, Funded by Himachal Pradesh state- National Health Mission 2013-14
3.Developing and implementing an integrated mental health promotion services for youth through a district empowerment model in Karnataka – Youth policy 2012 initiative funded by Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka 2014 onwards


Occupational Mental Health

Realizing the need to integrate mental health care and support systems into existing workplace health systems, screening for mental health in periodical medical examination of workers was facilitated in two large automobile industries located in Bengaluru and Kolar. This was subsequently followed by training and research programmes in these industries. To strengthen public health approaches in occupational mental health care, a district level health systems assessment for mental health care in industries was conducted in Kolar to understand the current situation, followed by training of concerned stakeholders. Upcoming activities are planned to incrementally develop evidence based healthy workplace interventions to improve mental health and work productivity, from a larger context of NCD control in workplaces.

Research Projects:
1. Feasibility of integration of mental health screening in annual medical examination of employees in a motor industry.
2. Assessment of occupational health systems and services among industries on Kolar district with a specific focus on mental health care.
3. Health and work productivity: A 5 year retrospective cohort analysis in TKMPL.
4. Facilitating screening for psychological distress, NCD risk factors and work stress among employees in HMSI, Narasapura Kolar.
5. Assessment of work stress among managerial and supervisory staff among select industries in Bengaluru.


Geriatric mental health

National Mental Health Survey

The department/ CPH is currently leading the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS), India undertaken across 12 states with support from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The objectives of the survey are to estimate the prevalence, patterns and burden of Mental, Neurological and Substance use Disorders in a representative population of India, identify treatment gap and service utilisation patterns and assess the current mental health resources in the surveyed states. After completion of the pilot survey in the public health observatory in Kolar, the survey is in progress across the states and is likely to be completed in 2016. 

Research Projects 

1. National Mental Health Survey- Kolar Pilot Study, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, 2014.
2. National Mental Health Survey, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, 2014 onwards.

Substance use epidemiology

Substance abuse is a growing epidemic in the Indian region with increasing number of tobacco and alcohol users. The areas of research has been on – estimating burden and impact, risk behaviors, comorbidity states, socioeconomic impact, programmes and policies and directions for future work in India.

Alcohol Use and Abuse

Alcohol abuse is a common public health problem with substantial impact on family and society. Work in this area in collaboration and partnership with De-addiction services of NIMHANS has focused upon 

Association of alcohol with injuries (Road traffic deaths and injuries, suicides, brain injuries and violence) 
Alcohol as a risk behaviour in communities
Alcohol overuse as a mental health problem and precursor to Non-communicable diseases ( stroke) 
Socioeconomic impact of alcohol 
Policy issues regarding alcohol in different Indian states. 

Research Projects 

1. Patterns and consequences of alcohol misuse in India – a 5 region study- WHO India country Office, (12 months).
2. Harm to others from drinking: India country study-World Health Organization  and Thai Health-18 months
3. Alcohol and Violence (GENACIS project). Funded by World Health Organization, Geneva, 2003.
4. Study of Health Utilization Pattern among alcoholics in Bangalore, 2002.
5. Alcohol and Injuries. Funded by World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002.
6. Study of Illicit consumption of alcohol in rural areas. Funded by World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002.


Tobacco use

1. Global Youth Tobacco Survey for Karnataka. Funded by World Health Organization, New Delhi, India, 2003.

2. MPH disser