National Institute of Mental Health

Angoda, Sri Lanka

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NIMH Research Unit

On February 24, 2012, NIMH's Research Unit was ceremoniously opened by Professor Trevor Young, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Professor Asitha de Silva, Professor of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Ragama; and Professor Alexander Simpson, Professor and Clinical Director of the Law and Mental Health Programme, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of NIMH, Dr. Jayan Mendis, said that a research unit was a ‘long felt need’ for the hospital. He emphasized the value of having a research unit within the hospital because of the highly unique nature of the patients and the treatment modalities being used for potential researchers. 

"NIMH is one of the few large-scale hospitals existing in the word exclusively for people with psychiatric illness," said Dr. Mendis. "The NIMH has many specialized units for forensic psychiatry, perinatal psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry and for learning disabilities. Because of this, anyone who is interested in doing research on mental illness and mental health will find ‘treasure trove’ at NIMH."

NIMH hopes the research unit will become the hub of all research activity that takes place within the hospital as well as evolve into the centre of excellence in psychiatric research in South Asia in the future. The management is hopeful that NIMH will be able to have collaborative relationships with top class universities locally and internationally. The hospital has already managed to strike an agreement with the University of Toronto in Canada to have training programmes in research methodology for post-graduate trainees in psychiatry.

The research unit will also work together with the clinical governance unit of the hospital.

One of the first activities planned for the new research unit includes coordinating and running several hospital-wide audits into key performance indicators.

Dr. Mendis added that the research unit will be a resource centre as well as provide facilities for training activities on research in the near future.


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