NIMHANS to launch project with Karnataka education and health department to improve mental well-being of students

As students spend time on educational campuses, these environments play a crucial role in implementing programmes that promote mental health, foster a sense of belonging
All for the mental health
All for the mental health

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, in collaboration with the Karnataka Departments of Health and Education, is set to take forward an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) initiative to enhance mental well-being and reduce suicide risks in Bengaluru's educational campuses.

The three-year implementation project, part of a multistate study by the ICMR, aims to develop evidence-based, scalable, and sustainable models.

In this regard, a preliminary consultative meeting is scheduled with Health and education department officials, mental health experts, and NGO representatives, to refine the action plan and discuss potential implementation challenges and facilitators at Arogya Soudha on June 5.

According to a UNICEF report from 2021, approximately 20% of young people aged 15 to 24 in 21 countries expressed feelings of depression or disinterest in activities.

The National Mental Health Survey of India 2015–2016 revealed that 7.3% of adolescents and 10.6% of young adults in India faced diagnosable mental health issues, with urban areas showing twice the prevalence compared to rural areas.

Therefore, the primary focus is to collect expert perspectives to enhance the action plan and discuss potential challenges and facilitators for implementing such initiatives in educational campuses across Bengaluru's urban and rural areas.

As students spend time on educational campuses, these environments play a crucial role in implementing programmes that promote mental health, foster a sense of belonging, detect distress early, and enhance access to care through self-help, peer support, and professional assistance.

Dr Seema Mehrotra, Principal Investigator and Professor of Clinical Psychology at NIMHANS, emphasised that a multidisciplinary team comprising experts from various departments at NIMHANS and the E-Health Research Centre at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore will collaborate closely with the Karnataka government to implement the initiative aimed at achieving the stated objectives.

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