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).

5 day workshop on The Psychiatry of Developmental Intellectual Disorder

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The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in collaboration with World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR), World Health Organization (WHO) and Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists is organizing  a workshop on The Psychiatry of Developmental Intellectual Disorder.

The workshop plans to be held at the NIMH from 2nd to 6th September 2013 for trainees in Psychiatry (SRs and Registrars), Diploma Holders in Psychiatry and Medical Officers in Mental Health.

 There is a faculty of eminent expertise in the field of Learning Disability from United Kingdom to facilitate the workshop. It is funded by International Links Working Group for Intellectual Disorder of Royal College of Psychiatrists and Cooray Family Trust.



Fourth World Congress of Asian Psychiatry

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The fourth world congress of Asian Psychiatry was held from 2nd to 4th August 2013 at National Institute of Mental Health Colombo, Sri Lanka on the theme
“Moving Asian Psychiatry into Mainstream of Medical care”.

 The scientific programme was comprised of plenary lectures, symposia and workshops by eminent professionals in the field of Mental Health. Psychiatrists, Postgraduate trainees in Psychiatry and Medical officers of Mental Health were participated this important event.

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NIMH in hands with Royal College Colombo organizes interschool debating competition

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October 10th is the world mental health day, celebrated all over the world. This day is the special day for mental health and people with psychiatric disorders.
Mental health day celebrations aim at improving awareness of mental illnesses, myths and stigma reduction in the society

National Institute of Mental Health of Sri Lanka, the leading body serving the community in the field of mental health with other related organization celebrates world mental health day.
This year NIMH in hands with Royal College Colombo organizes interschool debating competition aims at improving positive attitude towards mental health and mental illnesses among school children.

Preliminary rounds competitions will be held in September 2013 at NIMH and Royal College Colombo premises. Semifinals and the final will be held at NIMH in October Colombo 2013.
Format of application is given below.            








The proposed community psychiatry project at Colombo-14

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Colombo - the captital of Sri Lanka, the city first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural city. The population of Colombo is a mix of numerous ethnic groups, which include sinhalese, moors, and tamils. Colombo is the most populous city in Sri Lanka, with 2,323,826 people living within the city limits as of 2011 census and statistics.

Colombo is divided into 15 numbered areas for the purposes of postal services. Grandpass ,which is zoned as Colombo 14, also called Thotalanga in Sinhala and Paalathurai in Tamil is a multi-ethnic,multi religious area where adherents of the Buddhist, Hindu ,Islamic and Christian faiths have been living side by side in amity. Colombo 14 is considered as separate catchment area for the admission of patients in National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Patients from that area are admitted to the acute wards of 8, 11 and also are managed in the intermediate wards number 2 and 16. Some of patients are also managed in the geriatric unit. Our general observation was that there is a large number of admissions and frequent re- admissions from this area when compared with other areas of Colombo city. They also attend the clinic at room no 22 at National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) weekly. Other observation was that most of people in this area are socially deprived and living in poor socioeconomic conditions. It is highly possible that a wide treatment gap will be existent in Colomb0 14 considering the socioeconomic status of the people in that area.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a state-run hospital functioning under the Ministry of Health, mission of which is to place the patients first. The institute plays an integral role in Sri Lanka by providing specialized psychiatric services to the community with professionalism and care. It also carries out a number of community psychiatry projects in order to provide psychiatry services at the door step and to reduce the treatment gap. The latest is the proposed community project to be conducted at Colombo 14 which is supposed to commence in August 2013.


  1. Reduce the treatment gap
  2. Increase the awareness of the government servants such as teachers and police officers regarding the common mental health problems and their detection (Psycho education)
  3. Improve the school and maternal mental health as well or the elder’s home residents 

Resource persons

Health Service Providers (Doctors, Nurses and Psychiatric Social Workers) who are attached to wards 2,8,11 and 16 of NIMH.

Proposed activities encompassed in the project are as follows:

1. Review the patients with psychiatric illnesses residing in the elder’s home and screen the elders’ home residents for mental being and illness and refer them to appropriate places for follow-up

 Time – every 1st Wednesday of the month

2. Educational programs:

Target groups- School students, teachers and Police Officers
Activities: to the Conduct a lecture/seminar
Topics:  Alcohol and substance/coping the exam stress/studying techniques/social skills training/child abuse/ recognition of symptoms and measures to be taken upon suspicion/gender based violence/maltreatment of children

Time: every 2nd Wednesday of the month

3. Monthly outreach clinics:

Target groups: patients who are screened and referred by PHM/Teachers/Volunteers/Police officers/community leaders

Time: last Wednesday of every month

  •  Moreover during the visits of Colombo 14 by the resource persons, home visits to the patients residing at Colombo 14 will be done and depot injections to the patients who fail to visit the clinics for their follow up will be given.

Kumar Sangakkara signs Happy book in support of Halfway Home Mulleriyawa

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In his continued role as an ambassador for mental health, Kumar Sangakkara took time to sign hundreds of copies of "Happy: Expressions of Mental Well-Being" in support of livelihood projects at Halfway Home Mulleriyawa on 13 February at Crescat Mall.

The book includes various thoughts and ideas from authors, kids and Sanga himself about what mental wellness means to them.

Borne out of a livelihood partnership between Mulleriyawa and Amba Tea Estate, the book also chronicles how residents from Mulleriyawa began sewing decorative tea bags for a small tea estate in Bandarawela. Not only has this partnership resulted in income for ladies at Mulleriyawa, but has also created friendships among the residents and the tea workers.

Thanks to Sanga's support hundreds of copies of the book were sold and tens of thousands of rupees were raised to further support the project.

If you'd like to purchase a signed copy of the book, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , while supplies last.

To view more pictures of the book signing, visit Sri Lanka's World Mental Health Day butterfly project's Facebook page at:


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