“Out of your vulnerabilities will come to your strength..”
– Sigmund Freud
DIMHANS has come a long way ever since it was started as a “Lunatic asylum” in 1845 by the British Government. I am honored and privileged to serve as the Director of DIMHANS and lead this prestigious institute. It has been a journey of steady progress and significant growth for DIMHANS, especially in the last few years. DIMHANS was recognized under the National Mental Health Program as a center of excellence, and a budget of 15.777 crores was approved in 2017, for the development of the institute. The growth of this institute has been propelled not only by government support, but also by many committed individuals who have served in the past under various roles, and those who are continuing to serve the institute in the present with passion and selflessness. We have focused not only on providing excellent mental health services but also on training competent and compassionate mental health professionals to serve the underserved section of our society. Currently, the institute has a multidisciplinary approach with full-fledged teaching faculty in Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, Psychiatric Social Work, and Psychiatric Nursing.
Providing empathetic and quality care for all our patients has been a major focus of DIMHANS. The institute offers psychiatry services on an Outpatient and In-patient basis; and as a separate de-addiction ward, child psychiatry ward, forensic ward, special wards, and psychiatric rehabilitation center. Psychotherapy, assessments and certification, family counseling services, physiotherapy, speech therapy, and neurology consultation are also offered. We have started to provide advanced facilities such as EEG, CT scan, and biochemistry laboratory services. Our intermediate plans include setting up neurology ICU and ward, MRI facilities, and a separate PG hostel block. We are in collaboration with Rotary Club, Dharwad for rehabilitation and community mental health services. We are also in talks with the Vivekananda Youth movement, Mysore for rural mental health services. We look forward to more such collaborations with NGOs and other patrons to extend our services beyond the hospital.
In 2019, DIMHANS successfully ventured into postgraduate education and opened the institute for MD Psychiatry program. To enhance the availability of mental health professionals other than psychiatrists, we are training eligible students in allied fields such as MPhil Clinical Psychology, MPhil Psychiatric Social Work, as well as MSc and Ph.D. in Psychiatric Nursing. We have collaborations and MOU with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore; Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi; Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga; Rani Channamma University, Belagavi; University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharwad and District Hospital, Dharwad for academics, training, clinical services and research. Coupled with a merit-based selection policy, DIMHANS has distinguished itself by providing students the best faculty and facilities, and an eclectic learning experience. In the coming years, we intend to start fellowship programs in various branches, and Ph.D. courses in Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, and Psychiatric Social Work.
DIMHANS aims to be socially responsible, and work with government policies and programs. During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, DIMHANS set up the first-of-its-kind COVID- Tele counseling center, where our professionals reached out to individuals who were infected with the virus to screen for mental health issues, and offer supportive and individual therapy to those who were in need of it. DIMHANS has been successful in implementing the Ayushman Bharath program which covers most psychiatric disorders, and we are passing on the benefits to our patients. DIMHANS is among the top 5 institutes to have successfully implemented the e-Hospital program in Karnataka, has also been appreciated for the eSanjeevani program. In addition to these developments, our staff, faculty, and students voluntarily come together every Wednesday to implement the Swatch Bharath program by cleaning the campus and planting trees. So far over 600 trees have been planted in both the institute campus and quarters. Currently, efforts are being made to nurture these saplings.
I take this opportunity to thank and compliment all our staff without whose support and dedication, this achievement could not have been possible. Our efforts have been widely appreciated by both the state and central government, and we have been asked to project our institute as a model for other government hospitals. It has been a wonderful experience so far; one that will be cherished by all. We are constantly striving to enhance patient care services, strengthen human resources in the field of mental health, and promote research activities of global standards. Every day we are taking small steps and working towards developing DIMHANS as an institute of national importance.
Dr. Mahesh Desai,
Director, DIMHANS, Dharwad