All India Meeting on Integrated Center for Yoga in Mental Health Establishments
On 23rd July 2021, Dr. Mahesh Desai, Director of DIMHANS attended an online consultative meeting on “proposal to set up integrated center for yoga in mental health establishment”, organized by the NIMHANS Integrated Center for Yoga. Heads of nearly 47 mental health hospitals all over India attended this meeting. Smt. Rekha Shukla, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was the chief guest. She spoke about importance of integrating Yoga in health care, especially in mental health care, encouraging mental health establishments all over India to set up yoga center based on NIMHANS model of Integrated Center for Yoga. She discussed various methods to get funding to set up such centers, and suggested partnering with both state and central government, and collaborating with Ministry of AYUSH for successful implementation.
Also present in the meeting were Dr. B.N. Gangadhar, former Director of NIMHANSand President of NationalMedical Commission’s MARB (Medical Assessment and Rating Board), and Dr. Prathima Murthy, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of NIMHANS. They introduced NIMHANS Integrated Center for Yoga, encouraging other establishments to set up similar centers within their facilities. Each of the representatives of the mental health centers who attended the meeting were given an opportunity to discuss feasibility of setting up integrated yoga centers in their hospital, availability of designated staff for yoga center, and availability of space to set up the Yoga center. In this regard, Dr. Mahesh Desai, who is a regular Yoga practitioner reported that DIMHANS is keen to incorporate NIMHAANS model of Integrated Yoga Center. Infact, DIMHANS has already recruited a professional Yoga instructor who visits DIMHANS, and conducts one hour yoga session for inpatients and their caregivers. A space has been allotted for the time being, however, based on funding, a new center separate for Yoga practices can be considered in the future.
The reason DIMHANS is looking forward to establishIntegrated Yoga Center is because several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of yoga as an integrated treatment for many mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. A growing body of research reveals that some of the most consistent and reproducible effects of yoga practice include stress reduction, emotion regulation, improved mood and well-being, and improved cognitive functioning. Studies have reported that yoga improved energy, happiness, social relationships, and sleep. The evidences supporting benefits of Yoga in mental health care is so strong that some researchers have concluded that Yoga should be considered an ancillary treatment option for patients with depressive disorders and individuals with elevated levels of depression. Given the many benefits Yoga can have on bothphysical and mental health of the patients suffering from mental disorders, Dr. Mahesh Desai decided that patients of DIMHANS should also benefit from yoga.
Ms. Vani Thuppad, the yoga instructor appointed by DIMHANS, visits the institution regularly, and conducts sessions involving meditation, deep breathing and yoga practices. Patients and caregivers who are amenable for this therapy are referred for Yoga by the treating team. DIMHANS is also planning to expand these services to the employees of DIMHANS, so that they too get to enjoy the many benefits yoga has to offer.