The Government of India established the All India Institute of Mental Health in 1954 in association with the Mental Hospital of the Karnataka Government. A major objective of the Institute was manpower development in the field of mental health and neurosciences. The Mental Hospital, Bangalore which had already built up certain traditions since 1938 in matters related to undergraduate training in the field of Psychiatry was chosen by the Government of India as the Centre of training. In tune with this objective, two diploma courses – one in Psychological Medicine (DPM) and the other in Medical Psychology (DMP) were started in January 1955. These were followed by a Post Certificate Course in Psychiatric Nursing (DPN) in January 1956. The Institute was affiliated to the University of Mysore for the courses.

Subsequently the Institute got affiliated to the Bangalore University in 1964 when the latter was established. The Bangalore University established a separate faculty of Mental Health and Neurosciences. The Institute introduced MD in Psychological Medicine in 1966, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1967 and Post Graduate Diploma in Psychiatric Social Work (DPSW) in 1968. DM in Neurology and M.Ch. in Neurosurgery courses were introduced in 1970. Later, Ph.D. programmes in different disciplines were introduced.

The All India Institute of Mental Health and the Mental Hospital of the Government of Karnataka were amalgamated into an autonomous Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in 1974. In the subsequent years many post-graduate training programs were started in the areas of Neurophysiology, Biophysics and Psychiatric Nursing. In 1994, NIMHANS was granted the “Deemed to be University” status under which the Institute awards degrees and diplomas. DM in Neuroradiology, Post Doctoral Fellowship in Neuroanaesthesia, Post Doctoral Fellowship in Neuropathology and M.Phil. in Neurosciences are the new courses initiated after the Institute was conferred the status of Deemed University. In the year 2008, Post Doctoral Fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has also been started.

The special feature of this Institute is its multidisciplinary approach in patient care, training programmes and also in the promotive, preventive and curative aspects of clinical services in the area of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. The manpower development programmes at the Institute reflect the extent to which we have succeeded in bringing together and nurturing behavioural sciences, neurosciences, basic biological sciences and ancient health systems in Mental Health and Neurosciences.

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