Mental Health Education - Research


The Faculty at the Department of Mental Health Education in collaboration with faculty of other departments and institutions conduct innovative research related public health issues. The focus has been on alcohol, reproductive and sexual health, psychosocial aspects HIV including stigma and the development of appropriate research methodologies especially the integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Research on school mental health, geriatrics, life skills education, community mental health, suicide prevention, is also planned.  We conduct research using multiple research designs and methods for evaluating interventions, applying research findings to program development, and involving community.

Ongoing and completed researches include: 

Strengthening Supportive Supervision and Monitoring in Karnataka, 2007-2011, supported by Samastha. This project was carried out with major financing support from Samastha and support from UNICEF for one year.
Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS) was a major partner.  Other partners included Belgaum Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS) and KempeGowda Institute of Medical Sciences (K IMS).  Project also had collaboration with St. John’s Medical College & Hospital (SJMCH), Engender Health, SPRUHA, Samartha, Samraksha, SVYM, and Snehadan.  Major activities included situation analysis development of a Learning Site ((LS) to) act as a demonstration centre for best practice as well as a site for training different levels of health care workers.  Supportive supervision was the backbone of this project.  The project provided extensive technical assistance and support for system strengthening to Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society, Community Care Centres  (CCCs), and Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres ICTCs.  Health service research was inbuilt into the project – several products were developed on the basis of needs assessment and field research.

Health services research:

Situational assessment was conducted to assess knowledge and skills of the counsellors. In 2008, a knowledge survey was administered to 596 ICTC counsellors in 27 districts of Karnataka.  In addition to the survey, a limited number of counselling sessions were observed and exit interviews with patients held.  Several NGO personnel were interviewed to learn about the collaboration between counsellors and NGOs.  The knowledge survey revealed that the counsellors were not aware that the HIV viral load was high during the initial state of infection or about the dangers of recapping needles.  There was confusion about the ART regimen.  Negative attitudes and gender stereotypes prevailed. Counselling sessions were brief and focussed on information giving.  The results from this assessment were utilized to design interventions.
Assessment of intervention for infection prevention and prevention of stigma and discrimination
In order to involve all the health professionals in learning site activity and to improve the overall quality of services while protecting health professionals, infection prevention training was undertaken. Linking this to stigma and discrimination helped to address this sensitive topic in an acceptable way. A series of trainings  on  infection prevention and prevention of stigma and discrimination were held in the BIMS and were attended by 64 Doctors, 99 Nurses, 18 Group ‘D’ and 44 Laboratory Technicians.  The analysis of the post training assessments showed that there was an overall significant reduction in stigma and discrimination scores.  However, risk perceptions still remained high.  Infection prevention scores also improved.  . As a part of the training, the participants visited various sections of the hospital, assessed infection control measures, and noted corrective course of action. Subsequent to the training, an Infection Prevention Committee was formed and this Committee took decisions to improve infection control practices. Photo-documentation of this created a base line against which photos taken at the end of the intervention could be compared .To facilitate this, session on Supportive Supervision was held for the Nursing staff. 
AIDS Stigma, Gender and Health in Urban India (NIH R01 grant).

This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA and is conducted in collaboration with the Centre for AIDS Prevention Studies & the AIDS Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, USA and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. This project covers three population groups: ‘general population’ (530) health care workers (520) and 511 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). Among the PLHA special effort was made to include marginalised people – 153 female sex workers and 54 men who have sex with men (MSM).  The highlights of the study findings are:

  • HIV Knowledge Among all groups knowledge about how HIV is transmitted in is high, however, knowledge regarding safe interactions or how HIV is not transmitted, and about preventive measures is much lower. On the whole the less educated and women have less knowledge; however women of all categories have better knowledge regarding HIV transmission through breast milk. 
  • Perception of Marginalised Groups on a Feeling Thermometer – all groups consistently give low scores to marginalised groups, even the marginalised positive people score other marginalised group members low.
  • Perceived Community Norms/Perceived Stigma – The perception of stigma is uniformly high in all the groups.
  • Reaction to HIV Test Result – Most people have a strong emotional reaction ranging from disbelief to deep sadness and hopeless with suicidal ideation.
  • Disclosure – With perception of high levels of stigma and consequent negative reactions, understandably most people fear disclosure. Disclosure avoidance behaviours place a high burden on the individual and isolate them from social support and deter health seeking. Strongly indicating the need for several sessions of counselling.
  • Behaviour Intentions – Among general population, stigmatising behavioural intentions and endorsement of punitive measures are strongly associated with less knowledge of how HIV is not transmitted, lower education (a proxy for social class) and a strong perception that stigma is high in the community. All HCWs reported that they would treat/provide services. Despite high knowledge  regarding how HIV is not transmitted health care workers feel vulnerable and take scientifically unwarranted precautions (such as wearing gloves for a routine physical examination/measurement of blood pressure) that are perceived by positive people to be stigmatising and discriminatory.
  • Internalised Stigma and Enacted Stigma – Internalised or self-stigma is high especially among marginalised groups and men, they also experience a sense of guilt. This internalised stigma affects their self-esteem and confidence and many of them do not disclose their HIV status and curtail interaction as they anticipate stigma. Enacted stigma is comparatively less, but some been abused and ostracised by their family and relatives. Overt discrimination in the health care field is less, but some report needless referral.
  • Quality of Life- Lower quality of life was related to lower education, being a female sex worker, having higher levels of stigma, especially self-stigma, less disclosure and adoption of disclosure avoidance behaviours, less social support and having more symptoms.

Some of our research initiatives are

  • Outcome of a School Based Health Education Programme for Epilepsy Awareness among Teachers and School Children [NIMHANS Funded]: An operational feasibility health education program is being carried out by the researcher for educating the teachers and school children about epilepsy and assessing their knowledge, attitude, beliefs and practices. The study would also assess the training of trainers methodology in School based Health education intervention program on epilepsy awareness for teachers and students.
  • Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) funded project titled “Development of a peer-led strength training program for suicide prevention among young adults”.

Principal Investigator: Dr. K.S. Meena (Additional professor and Head of the Department), Mental Health Education)

Co-investigators: Dr. Aruna Rose Mary Kapanee (Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology), Dr. Anish Cherian (Assistant Professor, Psychiatric Social Work), Dr. John Vijay Sagar

(Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Please visit the  Journal of Mental Health Education (JMHEdu) Link to the website :

Research under Fellowship in Mental Health Education 2017-18

In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the fellowship degree in mental health education, Fellows of the batch 2017-18 undertook the following research under the guidance of notable faculty at NIMHANS :

  • Research Topic
  • Submitted by Fellow
  • Guide
  • 1.Media Reporting of Suicide in the Bengaluru edition of three major Indian dailies between 2015 and 2017:  An Archival study
  • Dr Sharmitha Krishnamurthy
  • Dr K.S. Meena                                    
  • Additional Professor & Head    
  • Department of Mental Health Education
  • 2. Internet use for Mental Health Information and Support among University students: A Developing Country’s Perspective.
  • Dr. Manik Inder Singh Sethi
  • Dr. S.K. Chaturvedi                                                                   
  • Senior Professor
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • Head,
  • Department of Mental Health Education


  • 3.Knowledge, practices, psychological distress and wellbeing of Participants of first aid for mental health problems’ workshops: a follow-up study
  • Suvarna Agrawal
  • 1. Guide:   Dr K.S. Meena  
  • Additional Professor & Head                                                                                                      
  • Department of Mental Health Education


  • 4.Effectiveness of digital signage: perception and feedback by caregivers of patients attending psychiatry hospital, bangalore
  • Xavier.B
  • Dr S.K. Chaturvedi                                                                   
  • Senior Professor                                                                                  
  • Department of Psychiatry                                        
  • Head,
  • Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS

Research under Fellowship in Mental Health Education 2018-19

In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the fellowship degree in mental health education, Fellows of the batch 2018-1 undertook the following research under the guidance of notable faculty at NIMHANS :

Research Topic

Submitted by Fellow


1. Evaluation Of Using Social Media As A Platform For Dissemination Of Mental Health Education

Jigyasa Tandon

Dr K.S Meena

Additional Professor & Head

Department of

Mental Health



2. Reporting of  Mental Health in Stigmatizing manner within Print Media: An Exploratory Study

Yukti Ballani

Dr Latha K.                                   Assistant Professor

Department of Mental Health Education


  • Journal of Mental Health Education :

About the Journal :

The Journal of Mental Health Education (JMHEdu) is the official publication of The Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS. The journal is peer-reviewed, is published annually, and accepts high-quality work or writings in the broad fields of mental, neurological and neurosurgical health and promotion.

The Journal of Mental Health Education is keen to receive original articles on mental health education and mental health promotion, methodology, training, research, policy development, and practice – particularly from a national and international perspective

  • It considers for publication original research articles in the following areas:
  • Mental Health Education
  • Community Mental Health Education
  • First Aid for Mental health
  • Prevention, Promotion, and Intervention in Mental Health
  • Design, Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Programs in Mental Health
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Mental Health Literacy
  • Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health
  • Digital Mental Health Education
  • Public Mental Health
  • Advocacy and policy making
  • Research methodologies in Mental Health
  • Health Education Materials
  • Mental Health Education and Media
  • Aids and Methodologies in Mental Health Education
  • Theories and Evidence Based Research in Mental Health Education
  • Legal and Ethical Principles in Mental Health Education

For more research articles or to submit articles:Please visit the The Journal of Mental Health Education (JMHEdu) Link to the website :