PRIME India brings change to Madhya Pradesh

1 Apr 2017 - 12:00

Catering to the healthcare needs of roughly 400 000 people in the Sehore district in Madhya Pradesh, India, the the Ashta civil hospital served as one of the scale-up sites for PRIME's mental health care plan. Dr Pravir Gupta, a block medical officer at Ashta, shared his experience with this PRIME intervention.

Before PRIME scaled up its services to the Ashta civil hospital in 2016 there were no mental health services available to the 400 000-strong population of Madhya Pradesh, India. There was no protocol available for identification and assessment of mental health patients and medical officers had to refer the suspected cases to nearest mental healthcare services about 80 kilometers away.
PRIME India's first challenge was to set up a mann-kaksh (right). 'Mann' is a Sanskrit word for mind while 'kaksh' another Sanskrit word which literally means room. So a mann-kaksh is a room dedicated to mental health. The mann-kaksh opened in September 2016. PRIME also provided training and ensured that a proper protocol was put in place. 

All medical officers of the facility underwent a mental health orientation programme. Staff nurse Neelam Chopra attended a six-day workshop on the counselling relationship manual (CRM) and healthy activity programme (HAP) in Bhopal followed by a 4-day workshop on counselling for alcohol problems, psych-education and mental health management information systems.

PRIME's interventions brought about a significant improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions in Madhya Pradesh. Since September about three to four patients were detected on a daily basis to suffer from depression, psychosis or alcohol use disorder and were treated with proper counselling at the mann-kaksh. The figure is likely to increase in coming months.