New Delhi: To address the severe shortage of manpower in the mental health care sector, the government is upgrading and strengthening some existing institutes as a result of which 1,756 additional professionals will be trained annually in the field.
Observing that there is an acute shortage of qualified mental health professionals in the country, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said that a scheme has been formulated by the government to overcome this under the ‘National Mental Health Programme´.
The scheme entails setting up of a Centre of Excellence and Manpower Development.
Under the first part, some existing mental health hospitals and institutes are being upgraded and strengthened to produce qualified manpower. As a result of this, an additional 44 seats in psychiatry, 176 in M Phil, and 220 in psychiatric diploma will be available every year.
Under the manpower development scheme, the government will support starting PG courses or increasing the intake capacity for PG training in mental health.
Assistance would also be provided for setting up and strengthening of 30 units of psychiatry, 30 departments of clinical psychology and 30 departments of psychiatric nursing.
“The expected outcome of the manpower development schemes is 1,756 mental health professionals annually,” Azad said at the release of new guidelines for psychological support to disaster-affected.