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Natl J Integr Res Med. 2015; 6(6): 6-10

The Impact Of Mental Health Education On The Knowledge And Attitude Of The Peripheral Health Workers Of Dang

Shah N. D*, Mehta R. Y**, Dave K. R***.

Background & Objective: Mental health needs of a society are ideally met by integration in primary care. Under the District Mental Health programme, Surat is the nodal centre for Dang, a tribal region. In order to make medical care available to the patients in need, it was vital to train the peripheral health workers of the region. The aim was to provide mental health education to the peripheral health workers of Dang and assess its impact on their knowledge and attitude regarding mental health issues. Methodology: 150 peripheral health workers were posted in the Department of Psychiatry in batches of 20-30 each for a 7-day, extensive, in-house training. The improvement in knowledge and attitude was assessed by a pre-post semi-structured questionnaire and structured feedback. Results: The training resulted in a significant improvement in scores related to clarification of myths. The knowledge and attitude related to mental health issues improved significantly and the participants reported that they were sensitized by the training and would identify and refer patients to the visiting psychiatrist. Conclusion: The training in mental health could bring about improvement in the knowledge and attitude of the peripheral health workers. However, to what extent does this change reflect in actual practice, needs to be ascertained. [Shah N. D NJIRM 2015; 6(6):6-10]

Key words: district mental health programme, health workers, mental health education, training

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