National Institute of Mental Health

Angoda, Sri Lanka

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Home Patient Services
Patient Services at NIMH

NIMH practices the unique system of allocating patients to Consultant Psychiatrists according to their area of residence. When patients are admitted to the same ward each time, they are more familiar with the staff and the surroundings which help to calm down the patient. Admissions include patients brought directly by families, those who voluntarily seek treatment, those brought by police, airport office, direct admissions from the prisons, and transfers from other healthcare institutions.


Our admission procedure

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Our aim is to provide state of the art care to those with a mental illness.

Apart from clients who have been referred from other medical services, we provide treatment and care for those brought directly by families to the institute as well as clients who voluntarily seek treatment for psychiatric illness or substance dependence.

Patients in custody are also referred by the judiciary for assessment, observation and compulsory treatment.



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The newest addition to patient care services was the “Colombo Out Reach Service” established with the aim of expanding its services to the community This ensures the prompt assessment and treatment of patients who are aggressive at home and difficult to be brought to the hospital using conventional transport. When the request to bring the patient comes from a close relative of the patient, he/she should produce adequate proof about the relationship to the patient and valid information about the patient’s health condition e.g. Diagnosis cards, clinic books.

Such valid requests will be forwarded to the relevant Constant Psychiatrist depending on the address of the permanent residence of the patient. Initial assessment of the patient’s condition and the requirement of in-ward care will be decided by the Constant Psychiatrist based on the information provided by the Medical Officer, Community Psychiatric Nurse and the Psychiatric Social Worker. Once the Constant Psychiatrist decides to bring the patient, he/she is visited by a team in an ambulance. The team comprise of a Medical Officer, a Nursing Officer/Community Psychiatric Nurse, Psychiatric Social Worker and a supportive staff. If there is a need help of the Police, Grama Niladari and Community members are sought. After the initial assessment if the doctor decides that the patient needs admission to NIMH, he/she is moved to hospital in the same ambulance.  

The ambulance is sent if the patient’s area of residence is within a 50km radius. A fixed administrative fees of Rupees 1000 and a refundable deposit of Rupees 1000 will be charged from the relative. Ministry of Health has given its approval for this project and the cost of visiting the patient is reimburse from the relatives of the patient on mileage basis (Rs 50 per km).






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There are 8 acute wards (4 males and females each) and 8 intermediate care wards (4 males and females each), providing inward care to the mentally ill under the 8 Consultant Psychiatrists.



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Out-patient clinics are held six days a week in room 22 NHSL to follow up on patients once they are discharged into the care of families or institutions and to assess new patients.  Consultant Psychiatrists and their Medical Staff review the patients at these clinics. The Psychiatric Social Workers who attend the clinics help in resolving the social issues of the patients. In addition,
A Neuropsychiatric Clinic is held every Monday from 2-4pm in Room No.43and an alcohol and drug abuse prevention clinic is held every Friday at 2 pm at room 22.


There are several outreach clinics conducted by the NIMH .The aim of these Clinics is to follow-up of the patients in the community. A Consultant Psychiatrist visits and conducts these clinics once a month with the help of a Medical Officer and a Supportive Staff member. Around 50 patients are seen per day at these clinics.



Geriatric Psychiatric Unit

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The Geriatric Psychiatric Unit was established in 1999 mainly for the specialized care of patients suffering from dementia. This ward can accommodate 30 male and 24 female patients. The patients are warded under the care of two consultant psychiatrists and are looked after by the medical officer and trained nursing staff attached to the unit.


Perinatal Psychiatric Unit

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This unit was an essential addition to NIMH in May 2006. It aims to provide specialized care for mothers who develop psychiatric illnesses following delivery, without separation from their babies. This allows new mothers to bond with their baby, while the vigilant nursing staff ensures the safety of both mother and baby during this stressful period.


Learning Disability Unit

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The Learning Disability Unit was opened in March 2008 at NIMH, with a view to rehabilitating clients with learning disability and associated behavioural problems, and to train and educate their parents/guardians on rehabilitation skills. This unit has the facilities to provide inward care for a maximum of eight patients at a time and is staffed with employees skilled in caring for those with a learning disability. It’s homely, spacious and a quiet environment with separate rooms for the patient and his carer, which is ideal for the management of patients with special needs.


General Medical Ward

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The General Medical Ward was opened in May 2005 with 25 beds housing a male and female section. The unit functions under the supervision of a consultant physician, medical officer and trained nursing staff.

When the need arises for specialist medical opinion or care, patients are referred to this unit and inward treatment is offered if necessary. This lessens the inconvenience, delay and distress caused to patients by the transfer to a general hospital for specialist medical attention.


Forensic Psychiatric Unit

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This unit is a secure facility, which houses patients who have been referred by the High Courts for assessment and treatment of psychiatric illness. The ward is under the supervision of a consultant forensic psychiatrist.

Patients who have been referred by the District Courts (for lesser offenses) are housed in the general wards and are produced before the Magistrate every two weeks at a special court convened on the hospital premises.

A Forensic Psychiatry Office has been established to look after various aspects of administration for the patients.

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