Changing lifestyles, urbanization and the consequent narrowing of close community and family ties, stressful job situations, pressures on young people and loneliness among elderly have been some of the mental health challenges in the last few years. Mental health professionals are handling more and more people with problems of daily living in the context of work, studies, marriage and relationships. Preventive services in the area of mental health in India and even across the world are still in their infancy and are too few for the demands of today.
To fill this gap, NIMHANS launched an innovative mental health promotion initiative by stepping out of the institution and locating itself within the community, to address mental health promotion in the city of Bangalore.
The centre, named aptly as NIMHANS Centre of Well Being (NCWB) was inaugurated on 10th of October 2011 on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. It was carried out by Mr. Ramdas, Minister for Health Education and Mr. Suresh Kumar, Minister for Urban Development, also attended by all the Departmental Heads of NIMHANS.
NIMHANS Centre for Wellbeing is an urban community centre. This centre is located at BTM Layout, this is a non threatening space and has a very pleasant ambience with beautiful garden and a seating space under a pergola, it is in a residential area with absolute silence. It is a unique facility for sharing your thoughts, feelings, problems,concerns etc with the expert teams from NIMHANS. The Centre aims at working on preventive and Promotive aspects of mental health. The centre is providing clinical services, training programs and outreach programs. Expert mental health professionals from NIMHANS will offer the clinical services between 9:30 am to 4:30 am between Monday and Saturdays.
There are many challenges in life due to which one could experience stress, relationship issues, conflicts in the mind, fear or sadness due to various life situations, and other mental health issues including addiction to alcohol, smoking, or even technology. These could be either due to major life events or stresses in the immediate surroundings. In the midst of it all, it would benefit to adopt a positive style of dealing with life and its challenges. And hence, The NIMHANS Centre for Wellbeing, a centre placed within the community, encourages people from the neighbourhood to `walk in’ to the centre for mental health advice, and seek to help and support people from all walks of life to meet the demands of stressful and overwhelming situations, and cope with them in a healthy manner. The centre has launched also a mental health helpline for elderly on 12th April, 2013. The mental health professionals who work full time at the centre provide Brief supportive counseling, mental health related information and screening services to the clients.
The Centre aims at working on preventive and promotive aspects of mental health. The centre is providing clinical services, training programs and outreach programs. The clinical services include psychological interventions and psychiatric help for minor mental health issues. Training programs are being conducted for various groups – students, parents, teachers, mental health professionals, medical professionals, working professionals, cousellors, elderly persons etc to enhance their knowledge and understanding of various issues of mental health and preventive neurology. For this, there is an exclusive space “MindSpace” which provides a unique environment for learning and exchange of ideas. The “Knowledge Nook”, also part of the centre, is a quiet and a conducive space for contemplation; a library open to any individual looking for access to useful information on mental health. The centre with its informal ambience, lovely garden and warm and friendly staff is a unique model of offering mental health advice and care in a non-stigmatising environment.
NCWB Core team:
Dr. Geetha Desai, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS
In-charge Administrative Head, NIMHANS Centre for Well Being.
Ms. D Padmavathy, Department of Nursing, NIMHANS
In-charge Staff Nurse, NIMHANS Centre for Well Being
Ms. Shruthi Rajalakshmi C, Asst Co-ordinator, NIMHANS Centre for Well Being, NIMHANS