Our MINDS team had a busy last week as we planned for a Community Mental Health Workers (CMHW) Training Program and took one day to visit the Kareli Baug Hospital for Mental Health. The Kareli Baug Hospital has been very well-known for its mental health services since its inception in 1968. Our special guest, Dr. Martin from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, was especially eager for the visit as he used to run a hospital himself. During our visit, we learned about the various rehabilitation programs, saw the different wards, and heard about the basic everyday functions of the hospital. Dr. Martin discussed the various treatment options available in the hospital, the hospital policies and their effectiveness, and the stigma surrounding mental health in Vadodara with one of the psychiatrists in the hospital.
The rest of the week we prepared for our weekend CMHW Training Program which took place in Jaspur, a rural village around Vadodara. This program aims to educate the local health workers (specifically ASHA workers and Anganwadis) about mental health and helps them to screen for any ill patients. The health workers are in an especially valuable position since they regularly communicate with the villagers and have various connections throughout the areas in which they work. Amul Joshi, our Program Director, led most of the training as he taught the 12 health workers about various disorders, their symptoms, and how to properly handle these situations.
There will be another training program taking place soon as there are two Masters of Public Health students from Mt. Sinai College, Sara and Rachita, conducting a research project that will compare two different approaches to training community health workers. One method consists of a didactic training module while the other one incorporates direct patient interaction in a didactic training module. The study will hopefully show the advantages and disadvantages of both training methods.
We will be sure to update and share more stories about our programs and projects!