THE DEPARTMENT of Psychiatry, Government Medical College Chandigarh (GMCH), along with Parivartan, a mental health movement, are organising the first national conference for the mentally ill from December 9-10.
The theme of the conference is Support for Caregivers and Persons with Mental Illness: Innovative Approaches.
The organising chairman will be Professor BS Chavan, head of the Department of Psychiatry-cum-Additional director, Mental Health Institute. Since the maximum burden of mental illness is on the families, who have to provide 24X7 care and suffer the most, the focus of deliberations would be on innovative efforts to improve the mental health of caregivers as well as the patients.
The conference will be attended by 250-300 mental health professionals from across the country.
Senior mental health professionals and care providers are expected to take part in the conference. Parivartan, the co-host of the conference, has been working in Chandigarh for the last four years, providing Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT), looking after homeless mentally ill, arranging guardian and mangers for mentally ill to take care of them and their property, day care services for mentally ill, running caregiver support group, school mental health programme and running residential facility for the homeless mentally ill people.
The highlight of the conference will be award sessions. Five awards like the Indira Mehndiratta Award for best research in mental health by student; Dr Suraj Bhan Award for best innovative practice in the field of mental health; Pushpanjali Trust Award the Best Original Research Work in the field of rehabilitation; Sardar Ram Bahadur Singh Award for Best Use of Technology for Promoting Mental Health and Tulsi Ram Award for Best Community Work in the Field of Mental Health by Non-Professionals) and the Best NGO award.
The best NGO award will be given to the Best NGO providing best mental healthcare in the country.
This conference will focus on non-pharmacological interventions for the rehabilitation of people suffering from mental illness, including community outreach programme, vocational training, social skill training, job placement, use of information technology for empowering service users, legal assistance, shelter for homeless mentally ill patients, crisis intervention, home-based services, etc.
The conference is open to mental health professionals, social workers, psychologists, patients, caregivers, families, organisations and voluntary workers.
The conference will include invited lectures and presentations by renowned national and international faculties who have extensively worked in the field of rehabilitation.
There will also be various symposiums, debates, workshops, free and award papers and posters.
Around 250 delegates from across the country and abroad are expected to take part in this conference.