“What we have seen and realised is that people don’t talk or come out if they are suffering from depression or other psychiatric disorders. And those living in these areas are mostly unaware of mental health,” said Dr Rajinder K Dhamija, Director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) hospital.
“So, we have decided to identify such individuals, send our team, pick them up from home, take them to IHBAS and get their treatment done at the facility,” he explained.
The institute has tied up with all the 11 district offices for this initiative. Along with the team of doctors from IHBAS, there will also be Asha and Anganwadi workers, who will primarily help in identifying individuals who need psychiatric or neurological treatment.
“The Asha and Anganwadi workers have a larger reach to the society and can help find who requires immediate counselling,” Dhamija said.
The institute has said to have procured 11 ambulances and has completed recruitment of 40 personnel including doctors, informed the director, to take this forward.
The mobile mental health units initiative was started last year in September. The decision of mobile units was taken up soon after the second wave when the Delhi high court too had taken cognisance of the MMHU proposal and had sought its implementation.
Dhamija further said: “The massive surge in mental health issues may remain untreated or undiagnosed due to interrupted mental health services. IHBAS as a leading mental health institute helped policy makers as well as medical professionals to deal with post-Covid mental health as well as capacity building and as providing guidance for clinical practice, and training. Through MMHU we aim to reach out to maximum people who still have hesitation to approach for psychiatric treatment.”