Mains Paper 2: Governance | Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: NIMHANS Digital Academy, Ayushman Bharat, HWCs
Mains level: Ensuring Mental Healthcare access in the country through capacity building by such institutions.
Promoting Mental Healthcare in India
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the NIMHANS Digital Academy and addressed the first batch of professionals enrolled for undergoing courses in the fields of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Social Work.
- The passing of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 brings forth a stronger and more robust legal scaffold and humane and patient-centric rights-based approach for mental health care in our country.
- Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 envisions adequate quality care for the citizens through skilled healthcare professionals so that we can reduce stigma against mental health disorders.
NIMHANS Digital Academy
- NIMHANS has established infrastructure for starting a Digital Academy to provide large-scale training to healthcare service providers like Medical Officer, Psychologists, Social Workers and Nurses to deliver quality mental healthcare services throughout the country.
- The main objective is to exponentially increase skilled capacity in mental health in the country.
- Up to 50 people can be trained in the virtual classroom with only a cell phone/mobile phone with 3G connection required at the receiver’s end.
- After successful completion of the course and evaluation, the participants will be awarded “Diploma in Community Mental Health” by NIMHANS, Bengaluru.
- The courses for different categories of healthcare providers would be of about 30 hours duration each and spread across a period of three months and would be digitally delivered to remotely located healthcare providers across the country.
- It will augment the existing skills in mental health in the country.
Health and Wellness Centres
- Under Ayushman Bharat, 150,000 sub-centres will be converted into Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) that will deliver comprehensive primary health care.
- The HWCs would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care, etc.
- Government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers along with Tuberculosis and Leprosy, which will eventually help in reducing the disease burden of the country.
- In the coming times, it could be possible to detect mental health disorders at these centres and if it can be included in the universal screening along with these diseases.
National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore
- Established in 1925, NIMHANS, the apex center for mental health and neuroscience education in the country
- It operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- The institute was inaugurated on 27 December 1974, establishing it as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act.
- NIMHANS is a multidisciplinary institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the frontier area of mental health and neurosciences.