The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was established in 1927 and it is one of the oldest hospitals in South Asia. At present, it is the largest tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka caring for patients with mental illness. The former Mental Hospital was upgraded to a National Institute in 2008. The Half Way Home, Mulleriyawa (HWH) and the School of Nursing, Mulleriyawa are also under the administration of NIMH since 2008.
The NIMH has a total of around 1500 beds and annually around 8000 patients are admitted seeking treatment for all types of mental illness. NIMH provides acute care, Intermediate Care and long term care as well as specialized services. There are about 900 inward patients treated at NIMH on any given day.
The NIMH is the main training centre in Sri Lanka for undergraduate and post-graduate trainees in Psychiatry from Medical and allied fields, for basic and in-service training for health staff as well. All postgraduate trainees in MD psychiatry undergo a compulsory training for a minimum period of 6 months at the NIMH.
The NIMH has around 1,200 full-time staff. The top administration of NIMH comprises of a Director and a Deputy Director who oversee affairs via the Planning &Development Unit, Administration Department & Finance Department. As at 31st December 2016, NIMH had nearly 65 doctors including 9 Consultant Psychiatrists, a Consultant Physician, a Consultant Microbiologist, a Consultant Hematologist, 57 Grade Medical Officers and 3 Dental Surgeons. There were also 4 Special Grade Nursing Officers, 7 Ward Sisters, 427 other grade Nursing Officers, 15 Psychiatric Social Workers, and 9 Occupational Therapists.