March 13, 2018
Alagappa University, established in 1985, is a dream project of Padma Bhushan Dr. RM Alagappa Chettiar, businessman, philanthropist and visionary. Under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Dr. S. Subbiah, Vice Chancellor, the university is the first state university in Tamil Nadu to be awarded A+ Grade by NAAC.
As part of its efforts to promote mental health of faculty, students and other stakeholders, Alagappa University and MS Chellamuthu Institute of Mental Health and Rehabilitation, the human resource wing of MS Chellamuthu Trust & Research Foundation (MSCT&RF), jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 13, 2018.
As part of the agreement, both institutions will collaborate to explore diverse means of promoting mental health through several innovative and imaginative programmes. These include sensitization for stakeholders on mental health; setting up support centres in colleges affiliated with the university to enable early identification of students with mental health issues and timely and appropriate referral for treatment services; training programmes on mental health and allied fields; imparting training in counselling for teachers of colleges affiliated to Alagappa University; undertake joint research in mental health and thereby contribute to knowledge building; organize seminars, workshops and conferences in mental health and evolve a mental health plan that will improve the mental health of the faculty and students of the university, affiliated colleges and the local community.
During an interaction with media persons on the occasion, Dr.CRS highlighted that by 2020 (according to estimates by WHO), 67 lakh people in India will be affected by mental illness. Of this, 38 percent will be adolescents and young adults. Addiction to technology and pressures of modern life are some of the most common risk factors in making this group particularly vulnerable to mental illness. Insufficient human resource in mental health as currently there are only 6000 psychiatrists and 46 hospitals for people with mental disabilities for a country with a population of 1.2 billion people further complicates the existing problem.
Hence there is a pressing need to address these problems with early identification at schools and colleges and also equipping students with appropriate life skills to help them lead fulfilling lives. In this connection, Dr. CRS said that MSCT&RF has launched the Happy Schooling initiative with schools in Madurai Corporation that brings together parents, teachers and students to promote mental health.
We, at MSCT&RF look forward to this collaboration; a much-needed reminder that ‘there is no health with mental health.’