CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Prof. Dr. Sarada Menon

🇮🇳 The Pride of India 🇮🇳

The Story of a Women with Many Missions

(Apr 5, 1923 – Dec 5, 2021)

💠India’s First Woman Psychiatrist

💠Founder of Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF)

Her contributions…

🔹Sarada Menon was born in a Malayalam speaking family in 1923. She was brought up in Chennai where she studied medicine and was graduated from Madras Medical College in 1947.

🔹She completed her MD in General Medicine at Madras Medical College in 1953. 

🔹During her college days, she witnessed the sufferings of mentally ill patients. Being an empathetic physician, she decided to study psychiatry. 

🔹She studied Diploma in Psychiatric Medicine at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru. Thereby, she became the first woman psychiatrist of our nation.

🔹In 1959, she joined at Institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk in Chennai, which is the oldest mental health hospital – started during British period in 1794.

🔹There she dedicated herself and worked for the betterment of the mentally ill patients. She was the longest-serving Head of the Institute of Mental Health and also held the post of Superintendent of the Institute for more than 18 years.

🔹During her career in Institute of Mental Health, she was instrumental in bringing the following reforms and innovations:

🔅Started a separate OPD block.

🔅Improved the quality of case records.

🔅Day care center for patients.

🔅Appointed professional social workers.

🔅Encouraged the entry of local community volunteers to oversee patients and council their families.

🔅Initiated group activities and recreation therapy by introducing games, dramas etc.

🔅Established vocational training centers such as soft toys manufacturing unit, wire bag unit, bakery unit etc.

🔅Modernized the kitchen and ensured good quality of food.

🔅Introduced Post graduation courses in Psychiatric medicine.

🔅Full-fledged Medical Library inside the campus.

🔅Started special clinics like Child guidance clinic, Neuropsychiatric clinic, Geriatric clinic, Epilepsy clinic, Adolescent clinic and Neurosis clinic.

🔹She also influenced the Tamil Nadu State Government to start Psychiatric Departments in District Hospitals and Psychiatric OPD’s in General Hospitals.

🔹She played an important role in initiating the participation of social organizations in the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients.

🔹Soon after her retirement, Prof. Dr. Menon and like-minded psychiatrists Dr. Thara Rangaswamy, Dr. Raj Kumar founded the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) in 1984, a non-profit organization for the rehabilitation of people afflicted with schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases and for the support of their caregivers.

🔹SCARF has been affiliated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a collaborating centre for mental health research and training towards the treatment of mental illness.

🔹Prof. Dr. Sarada Menon authored several papers on mental health and she was conferred with various awards including:

🔅Best Doctor Award and Avvaiyyar Award from the Tamil Nadu State Government.

🔅Padma Bhushan Award from Government of India in 1992.

🔅Mother Theresa Memorial Award in 2016.

🔹Prof. Dr. Sarada Menon had a sharp clinical acumen holistically approached the mentally ill patients and mentored many psychiatrists. To honour Dr. Sarada Menon, who was a clinician par excellence and an administrator par excellence, SCARF has introduced Dr. Sarada Menon Oration in 2019.

A Day to Commemorate…

A Passionate Teacher & A Stalwart in Psychiatry

Prof. Dr. M. Sarada Menon🙏🏼

Discover CME INDIA

Discover CME INDIA