Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 332-334

Mental health care of older people: can the district mental health program of India make a difference?

1 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, India
2 Social Worker District Mental Health Program, Kannur, India
3 Psychiatric Social Worker, Departments of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, India
4 Government Medical College,Thrissur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Harish M Tharayil
Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Kozhikode ? 673 008, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.122220

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Background: District mental health program (DMHP) is the flagship program of Government of India to deliver mental health-care throughout the country. Being an out-reach program, it is likely that elderly people with mental health programs are accessing it more frequently. If this is the case, there is potential for including additional components in this program so that something more than the generic service is offered to them. Aim: This study aims to find out whether the elderly are accessing the DMHP services frequently. Materials and Methods: We compared the proportion of elderly people attending two mental health-care facilities: - A Government Medical College Out-patient Department and the clinics run by the DMHP of the same department. Results: A significantly higher number of elderly people are attending the clinics of the DMHP compared to the outpatient service of a teaching hospital. Conclusion and Implication: It is concluded that DMHP can be further strengthened by adding additional components like service for the elderly. This is important in view of the increasing number of older people who may need these services in future.

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