About the Conference
The Department of Clinical Psychology aims to offer high quality professional psychological services to clients from all walks of life throughout Kerala and outside. In 2009, Dr. Anita Rajah (Currently Prog. Director, Centre of excellence, Socio-Emotional Learning, Piramal foundation for Education Leadership),was instrumental in bringing together clinical psychologists working in various other departments in AIMS to function as independent clinical psychology department. At present, functioning as three major units- Child & Adolescent, Adult & Family and Neuropsychology,psychodignostic and psychotherapeutic services are provided by faculty specialized in these respective areas. Alongside, the department offers M. Phil. in Clinical Psychology - an RCI-accredited professional 2-year degree-the first in the state of Kerala. The program offers internship combining academic learning with supervised clinical practice and research in a multi specialty tertiary care medical college setting. The department regularly organizes workshops, awareness/training programmes and community services promoting mental health. The department has been an active partner in developing and establishing clinical psychology in Kerala
The school is an ideal place to promote mental health of children and adolescents, providing an opportunity for their cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural development. Currently, school going children across the country face wide range of problems such as:
- Emotional problems related to depression, anxiety, OCD, perfectionism, anger etc.
- Behavioural problems like school refusal, disruptive behaviour, eating and sleeping problems, risk taking behaviours etc.
- Neuro developmental disorders like autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD etc.
- Addictive behaviours like mobile phone addiction, gaming, substance use etc.
- Interpersonal problems among children, peers, parents, teachers etc.
While some are transitory, mild and moderate, others are serious causing distress, confusion, and lack of control.As per the report of Kerala State Health Programme, 2014, there is increasing incidence of stress, fatigability, drug abuse, and emotional imbalance among school going children.
A comprehensive action plan as envisioned by school mental health programme is essential to ensure that the children of our country grow into adaptively functioning and well adjusted adults. Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2018, emphasizes the inclusion of clinical psychologists in the early detection, assessment and management of Specific Learning Disability, Intellectual Disability, Autism, chronic neurological disorders, mental illness and multiple disabilities. Since 2017, the SMHP has provision for a clinical psychologist in every district to design, train and implement psychological services for school children.
Towards understanding, equipping and delivering these roles and responsibilities efficiently, the theme of this conference is “Let’s come together to ensure that School Mental Health programme reaches every child; a promise for a better tomorrow”. The conference aims to critically analyse the current status of school mental health programme and explore barriers to effective implementation, and provide impetus to crystallizing and consolidating the school mental health programme.
About Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS)
In the fifteen years since its inception, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) has grown from a 115 bed specialty hospital to a 1450 bed super-specialty tertiary care health centre with an attached medical college hospital. On the 17th of May 1998, AIMS was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in the presence of Her Holiness, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences is the adjunct to the term "new universalism" coined by the World Health Organization. This massive healthcare infrastructure with over 3,330,000 sq. ft. of built-up area spread over 125 acres of land supports a daily patient volume of about 3000 outpatients with 95 percent inpatient occupancy. Annual patient turnover touches an incredible figure of over 615,000 outpatients and nearly 54,800 inpatients.
The hospital has received the ISO 9001-2008 accreditation. It also enjoys accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) for its laboratories and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) for the hospital overall. AIMS is part of the Health Sciences campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University). The University is accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with the highest grade of A.