National Institute of Mental Health

Angoda, Sri Lanka

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To read about past news and views about NIMH, check out our newsletter - Waves (pdf file).



Workshop displays power of mental health consumer groups

Workshop 026A workshop targeted at mental health professionals and key decision-makers was held at NIMH on 27 July 2012. Over 60 people took part in the workshop, which focussed on ways to support and encourage consumer advocacy groups to get established and flourish in areas across the country.

Facilitated by Dr. Neil Fernando, the workshop was sponsored as part of Voluntary Services Overseas' (VSO) ongoing work with consumer advocacy groups in Sri Lanka.

The event featured a panel discussion with members of existing consumer groups explaining how their groups operate and the roles professionals play. The keynote address was provided by Dr. Jayan Mendis, Director of NIMH.

"Change in the mental health care sector will come from the consumers and caregivers, not from the professionals," said Dr. Mendis. "These groups need to lead the way and we, as professionals, need to be there
to support, but not lead. The consumers and caregivers are the leaders."

Other topics covered included methods for starting livelihood projects, a history of consumer advocacy in the world and in Sri Lanka, methods for engaging the media in advocacy work and a talk about the WHO's guide to advocacy work.

                        Samutthana Advocacy and Media Workshop 014                   Samutthana Advocacy and Media Workshop 060

 

 

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics opens Sri Lankan unit at NIMH

Grand opening

The Minister of Health, Hon. Mathripala Sirisena, officially opened Sri Lanka's inaugural Bioethics Unit as part of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at a ceremony at the Galle Face Hotel on 22 June 2012. Also in attendance were Guest of Honour, Professor Russel D'Souza of UNESCO, Dr. Jayan Mendis, Director, NIMH, and Dr. H. Gambheera, the team leader of the Sri Lanka Bioethics Unit.

Sri Lanka's Bioethics Unit will carry out four main action areas in the field of bioethics in the country:

  • Intellectual forum
  • Standard-setting action
  • Advisory role and capacity-building
  • Education and awareness raising

What is bioethics?

Stem cell research, genetic testing, cloning: progress in the life sciences is giving human beings new power to improve our health and control the development processes of all living species. Concerns about the social, cultural, legal and ethical implications of such progress have led to one of the most significant debates of the past century. A new word has been coined to encompass these concerns: bioethics.

Since the 1970s, UNESCO's involvement in the field of bioethics has reflected the international dimensions of this debate. Founded on the belief that there can be no peace without the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind, UNESCO tries to involve all countries in this international and transcultural discussion.

Sri Lanka's Bioethics Unit at NIMH will keep these same goals in mind while completing its important work.

Minister of Health Group shot

 

Drama performance at NIMH shows talents of residents and staff

Dance

A bright, colourful and enthusiastic drama and music performance was held at NIMH on 21 June 2012, which truly wowed the approximately 100 spectators in attendance - including some notable Sri Lankan celebrities.

The peformance marked the successful completion of a three-week drama therapy course hosted for residents and staff by Anoja Weerasinghe's Abhina Academy of Performing Arts. Blending dance, music and acting, the performance provided outstanding entertainment for the crowd and was extremely therapeutic and enjoyable for the residents.

Throughout the drama therapy course and the performance, it was very evident just how talented the NIMH residents and employees are in the artistic field.

The plan is to continue with drama therapy as an ongoing feature of NIMH's patient care.

ElephantFamous

FanGroup

 

Drama therapy presentation at NIMH

Drama Related TherapyOn 30 May 2012, Ms. Anoja Weerasinghe, Director of the Abhina Academy of Performing Arts, visited the NIMH Training Unit and delivered a two-hour presentation on the use of drama-related therapy as it relates to psychiatry.

Ms. Anoja talked about the basic principles and effectiveness of drama therapy including the use of acting, yoga and music. She showed how useful these techniques can be in rehabilitating people with mental illness as well as help all of us to maintain a healthy mental well being.

The dozens of staff in attendance took away a great deal from the presentation and will work towards implementing the ideas at NIMH.

 

New resident library opens at Halfway Home Mulleriyawa

IMG 4350Thanks to the generous donation arranged by CandleAid Lanka, a new library was opened for the residents at Halfway Home Mulleriyawa on 17 May 2012.

Stocked with brand new books selected by both staff and residents, the library offers a special retreat for any ladies wanting to read a good book. The plan is to continue adding books to the collection as well to provide more comfortable seating for readers.

CandleAid Lanka is a government-approved charity that attempts to attack poverty in five areas: education, health, shelter, food and community development. Books for the library were gifted by Friends of CandleAid Lanka in memory of Walter and Emily Adhihetty.

For anyone wishing to donate books to the library, please call 0112578242 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 


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