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)
🔹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🙏🏼
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