BENGALURU: Under the innovative public health project category at British Medical Journal Awards South Asia 2016, the epidemiology team of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore has won an award. The team consists of Senthil Amudhan, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at NIMHANS and Dr Jagadeesh M, TB programme officer, Kolar, Government of Karnataka.
The team developed a model called IRIS-identify, respond, inform, and support-to help ASHAs (accredited social health activists) tackle mental health problems in the community.
Senthil Amudhan, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at NIMHANS, said that the stigma attached to mental health leads to delays in seeking treatment.
The team developed a manual that prioritises mental health problems and held a training day using the manual translated into local language.
Amudhan said that it was “useful in enhancing the mental health literacy and reducing the stigmatising attitude of ASHAs.”
The team hopes that winning a BMJ Award will bring recognition to the IRIS model.