St John's Medical College

Overview - Psychiatry

Dr. H.S Subrahamanyam started the department in1966 by running a daily outpatient clinic with a three bedded inpatient facility within general medical wards at St. Martha’s Hospital.

In 1973 Dr. M.V. Warunni, an aluminus of the first batch of SJMC, joined the department as Assistant Professor. Modified ECT was started at this time. Clinical Psychology service was started by Dr. S.N. Indira in 1975. The Clinical Psychology team started growing after Dr. Tanya who Machado joined in 1978.

A 30 beded ward in the Current Campus Hospital was started in 1981 after Dr. Prakash Appaya joined the department. Dr. Sheila Daniel was rendering her services to the psychiatry department through Medico Social Services since 1979. Dr. K. Srinivasan joined the department in 1984, and over time, gave impetus to clinical research.

The Department of Psychiatry at St. John’s Medical College Hospital (SJMC) Bangalore celebrated it’s 50th year of coming to existence and 20 years of PG training experience in July 2017. The department has several in-patient and outpatient services including de-addiction facilities, child mental health services and consultation liaison programs. It has always had an active multidisciplinary team in delivering these services. In recent years, it has introduced several Nurse Practitioner-lead initiatives in CLP services such as BIG (Brief intervention in Gastroenterology) focused on alcoholism, AMAS (Assertive Management of Attempted Suicide, Mind Metabolic Clinic with Endocrinology, Memory Clinic and Psycho - Geriatric services, besides an Eating Disorder Clinic. A day care center for chronic mentally ill has also been started last year. Medical Ethics has been a major focus of our efforts and our department has recently played a key role in developing the IPS National Guidelines around the issue of Doctor-Patient Boundaries. 

The Department has Nine Psychiatry faculty members, three Clinical Psychologists and three posts of PSWs. In addition, there are Six Senior Residents, besides having an intake of Four MD residents every year. There are three qualified MSc Psychiatry Nursing faculty and over 15 Staff Nurses. Various General and Special Proforma for documentation and training purposes have been developed within the department. It has championed the cause of UG/PG psychiatry training needs at various forums, including the recent opportunity to review minimum standards of PG training in the State. Various trainees from reputed organizations visit us for training purposes. Scores of psychology and social work students from across India have had their exposure to general hospital psychiatry here. This department has always been known for research activities and has conducted several studies in various subspecialties over the years. It currently has ongoing studies with International collaboration including those funded by NIH, USA and MRC, UK besides several ICMR sponsored studies. A doctoral training program has been in place in the last decade and there are many scholars working here currently.