IMHANS has been running the district mental health program (DMHP) in Wayanad district with a significant tribal population for more than ten years from 2007 onwards. We learned from the experience that the present DMHP structure has limitations in bringing mental health services to the tribal population due to cultural, social and economic factors. The tribal mental health program for Wayanad district is planned in this context to address the identified service gaps and as an attempt to fulfil the NMHP objective of bringing mental health services to the doorstep of the tribal population. The project is not parallel to the DMHP. However, it supplements the DMHP and is expected to be a clinical service model to provide "Inclusive Mental Health Services to the tribal population" in other parts of the country. The project's funding is from the Directorate of Schedule Tribe Development, Government of Kerala.
Extensive mental health and substance abuse awareness programs are organized in the 15 tribal dominant areas in the district. A mobile intervention team comprising a mental health-trained general physician, psychiatric social worker, and community nurse provides diagnostic, therapeutic and counselling services to the tribal population. The activities are planned in the local centres, accessible and acceptable to the target population. Capacity building and training programs are conducted for tribal promoters, health workers, ASHA workers and volunteers to enable them to identify mental health and substance abuse problems in the tribal community.
Contact Person: Nodal Officer, Dr. Jobin Tom, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatric Social Work.
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