Public Health Observatory

The Centre for Public Health observatory was established in the district of Kolar in Karnataka (Ref no:HFW/30/CGE/2013 dated: 30/01/2013), to undertake various defined and focused activities in the areas of Mental, Neurological and Substance use Disorders and Non-Communicable Diseases. The observatory provides an excellent platform for generating evidence based support for macro and micro level analysis through in-depth examination of the dynamics of health system functioning to improve and enhance quality care. The focus of activities in the observatory is to strengthen health care delivery mechanisms at the population level by increasing applications of epidemiological and public health tools like population based research, health information and management systems, surveillance, capacity building endeavours, use of appropriate technology, advocacy, health promotion, inter-sectoral approaches, cost-effective interventions, monitoring and evaluation based on the principles of equity along with community engagement.

In the last two years, several research activities namely District mental health survey, assessment of mental health resources, evaluation of health information systems and IEC activities, Iodine Deficiency Disorders-Resurvey, drug logistics review, implementation status of National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE), assessment of training needs among Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and review of occupational health systems, harm to others from alcohol and road safety on district highways have been completed. All medical officers, Specialist in the district hospital, Health workers and Anganwadi workers, Counsellors have been trained in mental health related public health activities to integrate mental health into the existing programmes. With the celebration of World Mental Health Day, the district administration has been sensitised and continuously engaged in mental health care activities. With the specific involvement of district administration and education/welfare sector, programmes in the areas of child mental health and epilepsy (training for home-based care of a disabled child, Epilepsy Awareness week celebration) have been strengthened. Services aimed at child mental health promotion are carried out by facilitating inter-sectoral coordination and capacity building of key stake holders in child mental health.

The pilot study of National Mental Health Survey with support from the Ministry of Health And Family Welfare, Government of India was conducted in Kolar with the twin ideas of developing the methodology for the national survey and to develop data about the burden of MNSUDS in an Indian district to develop mental health programmes. Following this the National Mental Health survey was completed in 12 states of India in June 2016.

To promote mental health among young people, programme “YUVA SPANDANA-BY THE YOUTH, FOR THE YOUTH” is being implemented in collaboration with the Department of Youth empowerment and Sports from 2014 in the Public health observatory area. Services provided through Yuva Spandana Kendras include counseling and referral services, telephonic support, workshops, and trainings, specialist camps and knowledge bar. Yuva Parivarthakas and Yuva Mithras chosen from the district deliver these services within the community.

Service activities related to Occupational mental health are centered  around facilitation of   screening and primary care  for Mental, Neurological and Substance use Disorders and Non-Communicable Diseases in workplace settings, strengthening workplace interventions and capacity building of health staff and other stakeholders.