23 June 2015
Mental health volunteering in India
Two AWP doctors based in
Swindon have been mental health volunteering in India, running free
psychiatric clinics in the most deprived areas of the country.
Dr Tina Malhotra (Consultant Psychiatrist) and her husband Dr
Sanjay Kumar (Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience and trained
Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist) have been organising
psychiatric clinics in India, which has no mental health service,
This year they organised the Gaway Psychiatric Clinic in Bihar,
covering a catchment area of 4 districts with a total population of
around 5 million people. Prior to the clinic, volunteers advertised
information to local communities by distributing leaflets,
displaying posters and advertising in newspapers.
Approximately 60 individuals were evaluated at the clinic and
presented with a range of psychiatric disorders such as
schizophrenia; mood disorders, OCD, depression, anxiety disorders,
autism, and learning disabilities. The clinic focused on
appropriate diagnosis, pharmacological management of problems and
Dr Malhotra and Dr Kumar are raising awareness of mental health
issues and reducing the associated stigma. This has resulted in a
change in the pattern of patient profiles, with more women coming
forward to seek help this year.
Dr Malhotra and Dr Kumar would like to thank colleagues and
friends for their generous support and encouragement, with which
they are able to support medicines for 8 patients for one year.