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In India, unlike other countries, most patients with schizophrenia are cared for in non-institutional settings, and primarily in family environments. As a result of this, both the ill person and the family experience the associated stigma. In addition, because of the limited mental health services, the care for the patient generally comes from the primary care personnel.
     The Indian anti-stigma programme will be carried out in Bangalore, Bombay, Chennai, and Delhi. These cities are centres of academic mental health work and of non-governmental organisations that work with persons with schizophrenia. The Indian programme will focus on sharing knowledge with families and empowering them to take up anti-stigma initiatives with their local and citywide communities. The primary care doctors involved will assist in the early recognition of schizophrenia, its treatment, and in minimising negative prescription side effects. The doctors will also help reintegrate ill persons to their communities, in hopes to decrease the stigma and discrimination they face.
Following the designation of Greece as a site, our primary task was to incorporate the previous actions to the new programme and use the resources already available as a back-up mechanism for its development. Within this frame our site proceeded thus far with the following:
     The initial phase of interviewing about 200 families at each of these centres is in progress. The results will be reviewed, and a plan of action will be developed to suit the Indian conditions and best utilise available community resources.

Contact information
Dr. R. Srinivasa Murthy
National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences
PO Box 2900
Bangalore—560029 India
FAX: 91-80-6631830
Email: murthy@nimhans.kar.nic.in

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