Halfway homes for mentally ill get cold response from NGOs

Many families are reluctant to take them back.

Published: 14th August 2019 06:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2019 06:42 AM   |  A+A-

The Mental Health Centre at Oolanpara  B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: To help patients who are cured of mental illness at government mental health centres to lead a normal life, the Social Justice Department has plans to start halfway homes to accommodate these patients with their family before they are reintegrated in society. 

"The home will be a boon for the patients and their families," said Jalaja S, assistant director, Directorate of Social Justice. However, it has been a month since applications were invited, but the NGOs are not coming forward.  Currently, the Thiruvananthapuram Mental Health Center has a total bed strength of about 531 but more patients are getting admitted.

"On an average, about 25 patients come for treatment every day. Once these halfway homes are set up, we would be able to shift some patients there. The main issue is even after the treatment, the patients are not getting discharged," said T Sagar, consultant psychiatrist. 

Many families are reluctant to take them back. "The halfway homes will help the patients to become more responsible, behave normally, adjust with the people around and after all their delusions are under control, they can be returned to normal life," said Sagar. 

Rather than live a restricted life, patients will be able to interact normally with their family members. Counselling sessions are also given to the patient's family.  "Our aim is to make the community accept them," said Sagar. 

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