Community Housing Project 2009-2010 Halfway Home - Mulleriyawa, Sri Lanka

 

There are approximately 600 patients with chronic mental health needs and different levels of functional capacities in the Psychiatric Institute Angoda. In addition to rehabilitation, discharging these patients is challenging.In many cases families have destituted them leaving the patient stranded in the hospital. This affects the confidence and self-esteem of the patient who would be otherwise discharged.

Approximately 200 women are fit for discharge and able to work out side the Psychiatric Institute. .

The concept of establishing independent houses for patients who have recovered to train them for community living was introduced by Dr. Jayan Mendis, the Director of NIMH. This concept had been discussed on two occasions at the National Mental Health Advisory council Committee meetings, in 3rd of April 2007 and 13th May 2008, to be carried out as a pilot project.

With the above goal in hand theproject proposal was submitted to WHO, which was approved and funding had been secured (Integrated Community Living project at Mulleriyawa) and the blessing of Secretary Health was obtained on this project.

 

In 2007 the administration was taken over by the Director of NIMH, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Jayan Mendis. With the change of administration many positive changes have occurred striving to achieve successful deinstitutionalization with limited resources. During the period of 2007-2010 many projects have been implemented, emphasizing the general community that people with mental illnesses are not only capable individuals with many talents but also who can lead independent lives as them in the community. “Halfway Home Mulleriyawa previously called “unit 2” which had received little or no attention at all in the past is one such project which is being piloted. Similar projects are to be initiated in the future too and requires donor support.

At present 10 ladies are employing at Ceylon Paper Sacks (pvt) Ltd. Ethulkotte which produces paper bags for transport various items. Also 12 ladies are employed at Ultrakleen cleaning services. They receive a monthly salary and frequently leave the unit to carry out day today chores. To promote deinstitutionalization and reintegration these women are being guided towards independent community living results in “Community Housing Project”.