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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 191-196

A camp approach of community psychiatry in India: Past, present, and the future


1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Mental Health, Government of Karnataka, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Nursing, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Naveen Kumar Channaveerachari
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_195_21

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Camps are a popular approach to deliver medical care in India. While it is usually a one-off event for physical ailments, it is a long-term affair in Psychiatry. One of the first camps in psychiatry was rolled out as early as in 1967 at Mandar, Ranchi, followed by Raipur Rani (Haryana) in 1976 and at Gunjur, Karnataka in 1977. This camp approach became extremely popular and got expanded across India as they were thought to be synonymous with community-based outreach for mental illnesses. In the past 5 years, however, newer models of community care have emerged, necessitating a relook at this traditional approach. In this paper, the authors trace the origin, utility and future directions of these camps, taking data from community psychiatry camps conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, a premier neuropsychiatric tertiary care institute in India. Data have been collated from the annual reports of the Institute, database from the District Mental health Program, Government of Karnataka, India, and compared with published literature on the same field. While camps remain as one of the important avenues to reach the unreached, there is a need to change the approach of their functioning by incorporating training (primary care providers) aspects and collaborative care. The latter may make the initiative more meaningful and sustainable.


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