Hyderabad: In its attempts to provide a wide range of health care facilities to persons with mental illness (PMI), the health authorities have decided to introduce the concept of halfway homes in Telangana.
Halfway homes are ideal for persons who have recovered from their mental health condition and are ready to step-out of the health care facility. However, such persons are also not yet fully ready to live on their own or for that matter with their family members and need a transition period.
Unlike traditional mental health care institutions, Halfway homes are less restrictive and are basically aimed at rehabilitation of PMI so that they can make a transition from hospitals to normal living, either on their own or with their families.
On Tuesday, Chief Secretary C K Joshi directed senior health officials to come out with ideal locations to set-up halfway homes in the State. Last month, the State government had constituted a monitoring committee to oversee rehabilitation of persons who underwent treatment for mental illness.
The Chief Secretary was appointed as the Chairman of the committee while senior health officials were made committee members. The first meeting of the monitoring committee was held on Tuesday in which it was decided to launch Halfway homes.
The concept of Halfway homes is an integral part of the Mental Health Care Act, 2017, which was passed in both the Houses last year. In fact, as part of the Mental Health Care Act, the Centre had proposed to facilitate States to set-up Halfway homes.
Senior doctors said that halfway homes will be present outside the campus of mental health care establishments and will be registered under the Mental Healthcare Act. The Halfway homes will have to comply with the standards and requirements of a typical mental care facility.
The Halfway homes will also run programmes to help PMI in their transition to independent living and learning life skills. Essentially, such facilities are aimed to reintegrate PMI into the society by offering social, medical, psychiatric, educational programmes, apart from rehabilitation through individual and group counselling.
According to doctors, the patients in halfway homes will be provided a chance to move freely, interact with others, build relationships and even move out for a while after taking permissions from the doctors.