Monitor Thane Mental Hospital patients after rehab: ActivistsUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 00:52 IST
After Thane Mental Hospital shifted 149 patients to old age homes, beggars’ homes or women’s shelter homes, activists have said there is a need to rehabilitate them properly.
A month ago, the hospital initiated a mass rehabilitation drive as per the state government’s directives. Around 149 inmates, who have been cured but are unable to trace their families or are not accepted by their families, were sent to homes suggested by the social justice department.
“We have shortlisted five organisations from those suggested by the state government. The cured inmates will learn skills which will help them earn money,” said Dr Rita Paravde, medical superintendent of Thane Mental Hospital.
Although the hospital staff claimed that there is a separate ward in the hospital for cured patients and are halfway homes, social activists said this was not enough.
“As most of the patients are destitute, it is important to rehabilitate them properly. Shifting them to another government organisation is like an institutional transfer. They need to be prepared for the outside world. A halfway home is essential, which Thane mental hospital does not have,” said M Tarique, an activist.
Paravde said the hospital has been rehabilitating 25 to 30 patients every year.
“They either go to their own homes or those run by social organisations. But, last month for the first time they have been shifted to state-run organisations as per instructions from the state government,” said Paravde.
Lack of proper halfway homes may have an impact on the patients’ mental growth, say activists. “A patient’s progress should be monitored after shifting them to halfway homes. When they step out suddenly, it will become difficult for them to cope. Halfway homes have trained manpower to treat mentally ill patients, monitor their medications and train in skills to help them earn a living,” said Jeet Mohanty, social activist from Thane.
Paravde said the homes where inmates have been shifted will function as halfway homes. “We will conduct a survey on the improvement of the rehabilitated patients in a few months,” she added.