A number of persons work in the field of mental health. They
are qualified to work in this field either by their training,
experience or inclination. The different mental health professionals
working in India and their professional training are described
These are professionals with a degree in psychology. The various
degrees in psychology granted in India are- Bachelors (BA), Masters
(MA), Master of Philosophy (Mphil), Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).
Psychologists are trained in doing psychological testing and psychotherapy.
PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER
These are professionals with a post-graduate degree in social
work and specialized in psychiatry. Currently the degrees in this
discipline are- Masters (MA in Medical Social Work), Master of
Philosophy (Mphil), Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). These professionals
are trained to study the cause and treatment of mental illness
from the social perspective. From their knowledge they are capable
of planning and implementing a variety of interventions like psychotherapy,
rehabilitation, awareness and advocacy programmes and conceptualizing
health care delivery models.
These are medical (MBBS) doctors with post-graduate degree in
Psychiatry. In India various degrees granted in this field are-
Doctorate in Medicine (MD), Diploma in Psychological Medicine
(DPM), Diplomate of National Board (DNB), Doctorate in Philosophy
(PhD). These professionals are primarily trained in biological
treatments of psychiatric disorders, which includes use of diagnostic
aids (MRI, CT scan, etc), prescribing medicines and use of treatments
like Electro convulsive therapy and Transcranial magnetic stimulation.
They may also be trained in psychotherapy. In India currently
there is no availability of super-specialization such as child
psychiatry, de-addiction psychiatry, etc.
They are professionals who use the principles of occupational
therapy in the treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons.
In India various degrees in this area are Bachelor in Science
(BSc OT) and Masters in Science (MSc O T).
They are nurses specially trained in psychiatry. Currently the
relevant degrees in India are Masters in Nursing (MSc) and Doctorate
in Philosophy (PhD). They are trained in the day-to-day care and
management of patients in the hospital as well as the community.
They are trained in administration of medicines as well as counseling
skills, in addition to nursing skills.
These are people who help clarify a person's life situation and
determine the further course of action (Burnard). People from
diverse disciplines and qualifications may perform counseling
responsibilities. Traditionally priests, elders, teachers have
acted as counselors. In India various short term and long term
courses and informal training experience are available for developing
Neurosurgeons may sometimes be involved in the treatment of severe
psychiatric disorders by brain surgery. In India so far no institute
consistently performs or trains in brain surgery for psychiatric