There are approximately 600
patients with chronic mental health needs and different levels of functional
capacities in the Psychiatric Institute Angoda. In addition to rehabilitation, discharging
these patients is challenging.In many cases families have destituted
them leaving the patient stranded in the hospital. This affects the
confidence and self-esteem of the patient who would be otherwise discharged.
200 women are fit for discharge and able to work out side the Psychiatric
The concept of establishing independent houses for patients who have
recovered to train them for community living was introduced by Dr. Jayan Mendis, the Director of
NIMH. This concept had been discussed on two occasions at the National Mental
Health Advisory council Committee meetings, in 3rd of April 2007 and 13th May
2008, to be carried out as a pilot project.
With the above goal in hand
theproject proposal was submitted to WHO,
which was approved and funding had been secured (Integrated Community Living
project at Mulleriyawa) and the blessing of
Secretary Health was obtained on this project.
In 2007 the
administration was taken over by the Director of NIMH, Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Jayan Mendis. With the
change of administration many positive changes have occurred striving to
achieve successful deinstitutionalization with limited resources. During the period of 2007-2010 many projects have
been implemented, emphasizing the general community that people with mental
illnesses are not only capable individuals with many talents but
also who can lead independent lives as them in the community. “Halfway
Home Mulleriyawa” previously called “unit 2”
which had received little or no attention at all in the past is one such
project which is being piloted. Similar projects are to be
initiated in the future too and requires donor support.
At present 10
ladies are employing at Ceylon Paper Sacks (pvt) Ltd. Ethulkotte which produces paper bags for transport various items. Also 12 ladies are employed at Ultrakleen
cleaning services. They receive a monthly salary and frequently leave the
unit to carry out day today chores. To promote deinstitutionalization and
reintegration these women are being guided towards independent community
living results in “Community Housing Project”.