The Department of Psychiatry strives to ensure that the psychiatric assessment is a comfortable experience for the patient. The faculty members help the resident doctors acquire and practice good communication skills, to facilitate the development of a therapeutic alliance. Delivery of quality mental health care is a top priority, in the Department of Psychiatry. The department offers daily outpatient services. The Department of Psychiatry is equipped with a comprehensive set of core psychometric tools, essential questionnaires & rating scales. Pharmacological treatment & psychotherapy are provided for a variety of common mental disorders, including mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, substance-related disorders, etc. Electroconvulsive therapy is administered, when indicated, in accordance with standard practice guidelines. De-addiction therapy, emergency services, and consultation-liaison psychiatric services are available too, in addition to pediatric and geriatric mental health services. The department also provides student counseling services, in collaboration with the student welfare system.
The Department of Psychiatry participates in outreach services such as health camps & mental health screening programs regularly. A mental health awareness talk is a standard component of these outreach programs. The department has initiated collaboration with the urban & rural primary health centres attached to the institution, & with other NGOs. The Department of Psychiatry participates regularly in mental health awareness campaigns and advocacy programs, such as World Mental Health Day. The Department of Psychiatry places strong emphasis on enhancing mental health literacy & reducing stigma. In this context, the department has recently published a mental health awareness booklet in Tamil for the benefit of patients, their family members & the lay public. Mental health awareness posters & leaflets have also been prepared in Tamil, to facilitate wide dissemination of basic knowledge about mental health & mental illness.The department also maintains a clinical liaison with the Centre for Music Therapy & Research, SBVU & the Centre for Yoga Therapy & Research, SBVU. The department provides mental health screening services in the Master Health Check-up Unit using a structured questionnaire.
Student Salutogenesis program
The Department of Psychiatry, MGMCRI, has been requested by the administration to conduct a mental health and well-being program for 1st-year students with the aim of identifying those who may need extra care or attention and to help students realize their potential during their course in this institute. This is to be done as part of the general health checkup program for students. Some of these students may benefit from formal and structured mental health services.
The goal is to provide basic awareness about mental health & stress management, & to identify “Students in Need of Additional Psychological Support” (SNAPS). The program is, to an extent, based on the concept of salutogenesis. The connection between psychological well-being & academic performance is also highlighted. The information generated is used in the best interest of the students, with due emphasis on confidentiality and sensitive handling of data.
The program has been running successfully for MBBS students – Batch of 2014 onwards, MGMCRI PG students – Batch of 2016 onwards, KGNC nursing students – Batch of 2017 onwards. The process was also introduced in SSSMCRI, in 2016, by our team.