Mental health was an integral part of the center government’s urban development plan, said Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu. Mr Naidu was speaking at the 20th convocation of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) on Saturday in Bangalore. He said that it was required to better understand the impact of building newer cities on the mental health of the citizens. “The association of migration and mental healthcare is well known. We need to better understand the impact and prepare ourselves for the same,” he added. The minister also advised the students to remember their roots even as they ventured into newer territories during their carriers. NIMHANS on Saturday held its 20th convocation, honoring more than 170 students with a range of degrees in the fields of mental health and neuro sciences. Mr Naidu was the guest of honor and noted scientist and former ISRO director K Radhakrishnan was the chief guest.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Radhakrishnan urged the students to apply their knowledge for the larger benefit of the human development. He stressed on the need for greater trans-disciplinary research that include the convergence of neuroscience, cutting-edge engineering and information technology.
In his address, Union health minister and NIMHANS President JP Nadda said that NIMHANS was successfully integrating the modern science of mental healthcare with traditional Indian practices. “Yoga has a lot to offer as part of the treatment for mental health issues,” the minister added.
In his speech, NIMHANS director and vice chancellor Dr BN Gangadhar informed that the premier institute would expand its focus to include urban spaces and study the mental healthcare needs of India’s cities. Indian cities are throwing up new set of challenges and we need to gear up to address those that are related to mental healthcare, Dr Gangadhar pointed out, adding that the India’s first mental health survey will provide the necessary blueprint in drawing up a comprehensive mental healthcare plan. Speaking about the range of state-of-the-art instruments that NIMHANS has acquired for greater research and better services, Dr Gangadhar said that researchers at the institute had generated Rs 30 crore of grant during the year.