South India: From 25 April to 12 May, CTA’s mental health dealing staff Tenzin Chondhen, Southern-zone Telepsychiatry coordinator Sherab Tsomo and Intern Sonam Dolma visited the four southern settlements where the telepsychiatry project is being piloted in collaboration with Sangath, Goa. A total of 3 members (Dr Abhijit Nadkarni, Kedar Mirchandani and Urvita Bhatia) from Sangath joined the visit to monitor and assess the feasibility and acceptability of telepsychiatry mode of treatment by the Tibetan people in Mundgod and Bylakuppe where a larger number of mental health beneficiaries are registered and seeking treatment under this project.
Not only do they interview the dealing nurses of the hospitals but also have face-to-face communication/discussion with the beneficiaries and their families on their experience of the project, observing their responses and the actual feedback towards this approach.
It is found that many of the beneficiaries benefited greatly by bringing and providing timely treatment and intervention to their location, which helps meet their need for convenient, affordable and accessible mental health services without any need to travel for long hours to city areas.
In addition to the telepsychiatry monitoring visit, the staff also gave separate awareness sessions on mental health and its problems to 59 community leaders, 468 public and on adolescent mental health to 531 students in those five settlements.
The program was funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).