Bengaluru: Prestigious National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Public Health England (PHE) to set up collaborative programmes with PHE in mental health and public health system models including ‘Public Health Observatories’ (PHOs).
PHE has integrated all the PHOs in England into an integrated knowledge and intelligence network.
Meanwhile, NIMHANS hosted the 2nd India-UK roundtable on establishing India’s first PHO on August 2 and 3 in which 50 experts from PHE, NIMHANS and key institutions across India such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Puducherry and National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai.
Besides Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, British Deputy High Commission, Indian Institute of Science, Institute of Public Health, International Institute of Information Technology, Kolar District Health Office, MS Ramaiah Medical College, and National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research participated, according to a release here on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion NIMHANS Director Professor B N Gangadhar said: “Mental health is a major issue common to both the UK and India. The WHO estimates that 56 million Indians suffer from depression and 38 million from anxiety disorders. We are losing a student an hour to suicide due to we mental distress. In the UK, one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness; but significant progress has been made towards ‘parity of esteem’ which values mental health equally with physical health.”
“The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has notified the Mental Healthcare Act and our country is at the crossroads of a major transformation that can benefit from strong PHO networks for physical as well as mental health. The planning for the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ programme presents another opportunity to create community-level interventions powered by Big Data and intelligence to help implement the Act”, he added.
The MoU was exchanged by Professor Gangadhar with PHE’s Director of Health Intelligence Professor Peter Bradley. Also present were dignitaries including Professor S.S. Vasan of PHE and Professor G. Gururaj of NIMHANS who are the national focal points of this collaboration.
Professor Gururaj was facilitated on the occasion for winning the Dr Raja Ramanna Award for contribution to public health.