The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that 1756 mental health worker will be produced with the initiatives under ‘manpower development scheme’ of National Mental Health Programme (NMHP). Speaking after releasing the National Guidelines on Psycho Social Support and Mental Health Services in Disasters brought out by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Shri Azad emphasized that NMHP was re-strategized for community based approach with an allocation of Rs.1000 Crore making mental health services available at the primary care level and integrating it into general health care. In line with felt needs of the community, new components of life skill training & counseling in schools and colleges, services for homeless mentally ill, out of school adolescents, slum dwellers and other vulnerable groups have been planned, The Health Minister said.
Acknowledging the acute shortage of qualified mental health professionals in the country, Shri Azad outlined the steps to overcome it. Under Centre of Excellence in Mental Health Programme, 11 existing mental health hospitals/institutes are being upgraded and strengthened to produce qualified manpower. Rs. 30 crore per center will be given for Academic block, Library, Hostel, Laboratories, supportive departments and Lecture Theatres. Total budget under this scheme will be Rs 330 crore. As a result of which an additional 44 P.G. seats in Psychiatry, 176 M.Phil seats in clinical psychology and psychiatric social works and 220 seats in Diploma in psychiatric nursing will be available every year.
Manpower Development scheme intends to provide Manpower in Mental Health training centers. Under this scheme Govt. will support starting PG courses or increasing the intake capacity for PG training in Mental Health, for establishing / improving department in specialities of Mental Health in Govt. Medical Colleges / Govt. General Hospitals.
Assistance would also be provided for setting up and strengthening of