Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 315-319

The birth of national mental health program for India

1 Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Association for the Mentally Challenged, Dharmaram College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Srinivasa R Murthy
Department of Psychiatry, Association for the Mentally Challenged, Hosur Road, Dharmaram College, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.166615

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The adoption of the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in August 1982 was a milestone in the history of Indian psychiatry. Such an ambitious program was formulated at a time where there were <1000 psychiatrists is a triumph of need for mental health care in the country. The story of the NMHP, both in terms of the technical forces and the personalities needs to be recorded for posterity. The current article recalls the community mental health initiatives of Bengaluru and Chandigarh centers providing the reason for integrating mental health care with general health care and the support of the World Health Organization, along with the role of mental health professionals and the health administrators. The lesson that come through is the value of working together with different professionals for the common good. Recording the events for posterity is especially timely in view of the formulation of a new mental health policy and the revision of the national health policy during the last few months.



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