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The history of the institute dates back to 1847, when the Bangalore Lunatic Asylum was founded. The Mysore Government Mental Hospital became the first institute in India for postgraduate training in psychiatry. In March 2017, the Government of India passed the Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, which also proposes to set up NIMHANS-like institutions across the nation. National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences is a multidisciplinary institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the frontier area of mental health and neuro sciences.
The priority gradient adopted at the Institute is service, manpower development and research. A multidisciplinary integrated approach is the mainstay of this institute, paving the way to translate the results from the bench to the bedside. Several national and international funding organisations provide resources for academic and research activities. Second Liverpool – NIMHANS Scientific Meeting, 29 September-01 October 2015.
Third Liverpool- NIMHANS Scientific Meeting, 1-2 March 2016. Rose Dawn Bharath, Associate Professor, Mr. Rajnikanth Panda, Scientific Officer, hands-on workshop of fMRI-Basic Methods, Ara Damansara Medical Center, Malaysia, 18-22 Febuary 2016. Various experts hailing from NIMHANS, in May 2015, lodged criticism against the Juvenile Justice Bill, which was tabled in parliament. Preeti Jacob, from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was quoted as saying “Juveniles are less culpable and are much more amenable to rehabilitative efforts and thus should not be transferred to the adult criminal justice system. The assessments that are being proposed in the bill in order to ascertain the mental capacity to commit an offence are arbitrary and unscientific.
In December 2014, it was reported that a soldier from the Indian Navy was being held in NIMHANS for a month to evaluate whether he was suffering from mental illness, after acting as a whistleblower. After the month-long evaluation, NIMHANS concluded that the Navy person was not suffering from any mental illness. In March, 2015, NIMHANS’s director commented in news outlets saying that a civil servant’s cause of death was not suicide. In February 2014, NIMHANS approached the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce to complain about a movie to be released with the same name.
Although initially, the institution was able to block the release of the film if it was named as such, subsequently, the film-maker was able to launch his film without renaming it, once the Censor Board and KFCC approved the name in its second round. Central Bureau of Investigation to train its staff with interrogation techniques. The government asked NIMHANS to dispatch psychiatrists to Kudankulam to counsel protesters. To fulfill the plan, NIMHANS developed a team of six members, all of them from the Department of Social Psychiatry.
The psychiatrists were sent to get a “peek a into the protesters’ minds” and help them learn the importance of the plant according to one news source. 21-year-old individual who died in NIMHANS complained that their request for him being admitted to the ICU, due to his worsening condition, was declined by the staff. The youth later died, after his condition started to deteriorate. An intellectually disabled man who was admitted in NIMHANS for treatment was found to have leaped from the terrace of a building. It was reported that he was under round the clock supervision, but escaped without notice. He was found lying in a pool of blood, and was taken to the Emergency Section of the Hospital. In 2008, a reality show contestant, Shinjini Sen, after getting reprimanded by the TV show judges, temporarily lost her voice, and physical mobility.