The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at Angoda opened a specialised research unit recently.
Stressing that the research unit was a 'long felt need' for the NIMH, Director Dr. Jayan Mendis emphasized the value for potential research within the hospital, because of the unique nature of the patients and the treatment modalities being used.
Pointing out the need for high-end clinical trials in psychiatry, to develop new and innovative treatment options for patients, he said that the research unit would be a catalyst in developing research networks and collaborations for clinical research, which is not taking place in a meaningful way at present. The lack of such research would ultimately impact negatively on patient management.
The management of the NIMH hopes the research unit will be a hub, not only for all psychiatry research activities within the hospital but also in South Asia, collaborating with top universities locally and internationally.
The hospital has already formalized an agreement with the University of Toronto, Canada, to develop training programmes in research methodology for post-graduate trainees in psychiatry.
One of the first activities planned for the new unit is coordinating and running several hospital-wide audits on key performance indicators, said Dr. Mendis.
The research unit was opened by Prof. Trevor Young, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Dr. Mendis.
The distinguished gathering included Prof. Alexander Simpson, Professor and Clinical Director of the Law and Mental Health Programme, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, academics and consultants and nursing staff of the NIMH.