PDF - Community Mental Health

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Community mental health is a booming and dynamic medical field and among its specialities..

Community mental health is a booming and dynamic medical field and among its specialities, the role of counsellor and community support worker have been recently witnessing massive growth due to the growing awareness in the file of mental health. Community mental health banks on the knowledge and expertise of different people from different health and social care domains. They may be from government organisations or mental health professionals. These people work in a team to diagnose and help others to cope with mental illness. The exponential rise in mental problems has propelled the need for these specialists. Coupled with the role of specialists in the management of disorders along with community support, much significance of this discipline has been unravelled. It is no surprise that recent developments like the introduction of telepsychiatry, remote monitoring, speech analysis, transcranial magnetic stimulation and the advances in networking methods have helped in providing care to the people. The opportunities for community mental health teams are also diversifying and have enhanced their demand to a large extent. The future scope is also very promising. 

Postdoctoral fellowship in community mental health is a highly rigorous and guided program that provides an opportunity to work under the guidance of a consultant. The purpose of the program is to provide intensive didactic information and first-hand practical experience of advanced training in this field of medicine. It is aimed at fellows who are willing to take clinical and community responsibility, especially in the domain of the mental health system. The course is designed to provide training to the students in the concerned aspects of mental health along with rigorous coursework in social justices, mental disorders, general Principles of care, chronic care model, effects of deinstitutionalization, and many other concepts. With the growing need for a balanced public health care model, it has become important to train the fellows in the essential principles of community mental health, so that they can render their consultative assistance too. It is expected that during the course the fellows will be trained in various therapeutic options and to sharpen their proficiency in prescription, monitoring and selection of the adequate treatment aspects plan. Fellows will also be exposed to numerous investigative techniques, which will be based on the structural and functional correlation among many prognostic indicators. Fellows will be involved in the training of trainees like Asia workers, Anganwadi workers in handling various daily living skills. They will be in charge of conducting activities like group therapy, family session, yoga program, and occupational therapy. Fellows will also get involved in field-based studies and research collaboration to enhance their opportunities in the community mental health system. The fellows will be required to render their service in primary healthcare centres, school mental health programs and mobile outreach clinics.   Overall, the course prepares the students for a highly skilled role through routine clinical care and research activities both in the domain of community mental health.

The course can be taken by the candidates who have completed MD in Psychiatry or DNB in Psychiatry or equivalent from a recognized university. Seats are offered under two categories. The first category is the ‘institute stipendiary category’, the second category is the ‘sponsored category '. The postdoctoral fellowship programme takes around 2 years to get completed. The fellows after the completion of the programme will be able to provide consultancy service in various sectors, be it government or private sector. They will all get the opportunity to take the role of advisor in the area of community health programmes and will provide their expertise in designing policy for tackling challenges of community mental health.