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NIMHANS & Ashraya Hastha Trust Launch Mental Healthcare Initiative 'NAMAN' in Uttarakhand & Karnataka

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

December 28, 2023

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The initiative aimed to overcome the stigma associated with mental health issues and the scarcity of trained professionals in rural areas, ensuring confidentiality in care.

In a concerted effort to address the challenges of mental healthcare access in rural India, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) joined forces with Ashraya Hastha Trust (AHT) to introduce the NAMAN program. 

The initiative aimed to overcome the stigma associated with mental health issues and the scarcity of trained professionals in rural areas, ensuring confidentiality in care.

Sharing insights, Dr Pratima Murthy, NIMHANS director, highlighted the program's comprehensive approach, with the chosen taluks becoming hubs for comprehensive mental health services.

Under the comprehensive mental health program named NAMAN, NIMHANS and AHT collaborated with various stakeholders, focusing on two taluks—Munsiyari taluk in Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, and Belur taluk in Hassan district, Karnataka. 

These taluks served as testing grounds to assess the feasibility of scaling such a program nationwide, adopting a lifespan approach covering the entire population.

Over a three-year period, NAMAN sought to revolutionise mental health intervention in rural areas. The program's emphasis spanned mental health promotion, preventive strategies, treatment modalities, and rehabilitation efforts. 

K. Dinesh, managing trustee of Ashraya Hastha Trust and Infosys cofounder, provided insights into the vital role of institutions in fortifying public mental health. NIMHANS orchestrated the implementation roadmap, with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh, serving as a sub-hub to ensure successful execution in Uttarakhand.

The collaboration extended to state health departments in Karnataka and Uttarakhand, with financial assistance from Ashraya Hastha Trust ensuring smooth program operations. The initiative marked a significant step in strengthening rural mental health services without resorting to jargon or overly complex language.

In parallel developments, NIMHANS partnered with the University of Liverpool, supported by a £1.5 million fund from Pratiksha Trust. The collaboration aimed to accelerate research in mental health and neurosciences, addressing critical issues like Japanese Encephalitis and neurocysticercosis.

Notably, the enduring partnership, initiated in 2002, has already had a substantial impact on global healthcare, saving over 200,000 lives. External funding totaling £10 million was secured from reputable organizations, including Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council, the Indian Council for Medical Research, and the Gates Foundation.

On World Mental Health Day 2023, NIMHANS inaugurated three major infrastructure upgrades, with Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Chemicals & Fertilisers, leading the ceremony. 

Additionally, in collaboration with the Cipla Foundation, NIMHANS launched a neuro-palliative care unit in Bengaluru, providing crucial support to individuals with neurological conditions.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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