The Department of Psychiatry provides comprehensive mental health services ranging from biological treatment to psychosocial treatment facilities. The department has several dedicated and experienced faculty and is one among the earliest centres in the country to cater to the needs of mentally ill and emotionally disturbed clients in the general hospital settings. The creative, proficient and dedicated team of therapists consisting of psychiatrists,  clinical psychologist,  psychiatric social workers,  counselors,  occupational therapists and trained nurses has helped us to evolve into a regional leader in mental health services,  education,  training and research.



It started functioning in 1973 under the leadership of Dr. George Isaac,  the first psychiatrist of the department. The Head of the Department was Dr. V M D Namboodiri from 1975 to 2005 following which Dr. Kuruvilla Mathew headed the department till 2013.  The department currently functions under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Varghese.


     1. Primary Prevention

  • Awareness programmes in schools,  colleges and for the public
  • Seminars and workshops for the public and professionals
  • Observance of International Day against drug abuse and World No Tobacco Day
  • Conducts Essay,  Drawing,  Cartoon, Quiz competitions  among school – college students and the public
  • Conducts exhibitions on the evils of substance abuse  and HIV/AIDS for the public

     2. Secondary Prevention

  • Outpatient treatment care
  • Consultation with the psychiatrists
  • Counseling (Individual and Family/Marital)
  • Classes/ Self help group meetings (A A/ N A)

     3. Inpatient care and treatment

  • Detoxification
  • Medical treatment    
  • Treatment for other related illness    
  • Psycho - social management
             i. Psychological testing and assessment
             ii. Counseling (Individual, family/marital and group counseling)
             iii. Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy
             iv. Yoga therapy
             v. Educational programmes

   4. Tertiary prevention

  • Follow-up medical review
  • Follow-up counseling
  • Follow-up home visits
  • Follow-up letters
  • Follow-up phone calls
  • AA/NA meetings
  • Al-anon -  Al-ateen meetings
  • Vocational counseling for job placement, self employment etc.

     5. Smoke Quit Clinic

The centre also provides special medication and psycho-social treatment to the clients with tobacco dependence.


The department offers post graduate degree and diploma courses (MD and DPM) in psychiatry. The department also provides academic and clinical training to M.B.B.S,  B Sc Nursing,  Post Basic B. Sc Nursing and General Nursing students. In addition,  training is also imparted to Social Work,  Sociology,  Psychology and Nursing students from other universities/colleges.
MBBS students are taught the basics of Psychiatry including psychiatric case presentation in their 4th semester and theory lecture classes are taken for the 6th semester students every Saturday from 1pm to 2pm.

Ongoing Projects and Research

  1. A cross sectional study on the prevalence of anxiety and depression and determinants of quality of life in women with polycystic ovarian disease attending a tertiary care teaching hospital.
  2. A cross sectional study on prevalence and clinical and biochemical predictors of delirium tremens in patients with alcohol dependence syndrome in a tertiary care centre.
  3. A cross sectional study of prevalence and correlates of sexual dysfunction in male subjects with alcohol dependence
  4. A cross sectional study on association between stressful life events and relapse among individuals with Bipolar Affective Disorder.

Research Publications from the department

  1. Kuruvilla M,  Kuruvilla K,  Joseph C K. Renal Function tests in Lithium Treated patients – a controlled study.  Indian Journal of Psychiatry 1988; Vol. 30 (i) PP 33-39.
  2. Varghese P J,  Mathew K,  Jacob K S.  Mania associated with Laurence Moon Beidle Syndrome.  Indian Journal of Psychiatry 1991; 93,  62 – 66.
  3. Varghese P J,  Eapen V,   Jacob K S.  Psychiatric morbidity in a rural community in Kerala.  Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine 1993; 16 : 5 – 7
  4. Varghese P J. Advocacy in mental health: Offering a voice to voiceless. Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry 2015; 31: 4 – 8.
  5. Nisha A,  Sathesh V,  Punnose V P,  Varghese P J.   A Comparative study on psycho-socio-demographic and clinical profile of patients with bipolar versus unipolar depression.   Indian Journal of Psychiatry 2015; 57:392-6
  6. Vinuprasad V G,  John T R. My dad is Dhoni – Report of an unusual case of delusional misidentification syndrome.  Kerala Journal of Psychiatry 2015; 28 (1): 38.-.41.
  7. Sreekumar S,  Subhalakshmi T P,  Varghese P J.  Viola – a rare presentation of schizophrenia.  Kerala Journal of Psychiatry 2016; 29(1).
  8. Thomas S P,   Nisha A,  Varghese P J. Disability and Quality of Life of Subjects with Bipolar Affective Disorder in Remission.  Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2016; 38(4): 336-340.
  9. Sreekumar S,  Subhalakshmi T P,   Varghese P J.  Factors associated with resilience in wives of individuals with alcohol dependence syndrome.  Indian Journal of Psychiatry 2016; 58:307 – 10. 



One of the key strategies in mental health is early intervention. The evidence for early intervention in almost all areas of mental health is indisputable. Early intervention in patients with psychosis have shown that not only does reaching out to young people experiencing psychosis for the first time benefit their health but it also increases their chances of getting into employment and building the lives they want for themselves. We need to foster a culture in which our mental health needs really do have ‘parity of esteem’ to our physical health,  where discrimination to those with mental health problems is as unacceptable as racism and sexism, and building on these foundations where intervening early is the norm,  not the exception.



  • Adult psychiatry
  • Neuropsychiatric clinic for elderly
  • Services for Child/Adolescent psychiatric / psychological problems
  • Substance abuse management (De-addiction Services)
  • Consultation Liaison psychiatry
  • Clinic for senile disorder
  • Community Psychiatry
  • Psycho Motor clinic
  • Memory clinic
  • Family Counselling
  • 24 hours helpline (No. 1800425 2445)
  • 24 hrs casualty services (Emergency psychiatry services)
  • Outpatient services: Out- patient consultation services are available on all days except Sundays and hospital holidays.  
  • Inpatient facilities: The modern comprehensive and combined treatment of Pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy and occupational therapy is provided to patients. Fully equipped and spacious general ward and well furnished private rooms are available.
  • Psychological testing:

               i. Intelligence (IQ test)
               ii. Learning disability
               iii. Neuropsychological tests
               iv. Personality tests
               v. Projective tests
               vi. Aptitude tests
               vii. Diagnostic psychometry

  • Psycho- social interventions:

               i. Psycho-education
               ii. Counseling services
               iii. Psychotherapy
               iv. Family/couple therapy
               v. Sex therapy
               vi. Occupational therapy
               vii. Bio-feed back


It is a novel scheme for giving free food to poor patients admitted in the general ward.  It was launched in January 1993 by the selfless and incessant effort of Dr. VMD Namboodiri,  who was the head of the department at that time.  He has instituted a corpus fund for this programme.


The department also runs a de-addiction centre for patients with substance use disorder since 1994.  It is sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment,  Govt. of India. Currently Mr. Francis Moothedan is the Project Director of the De-addiction Centre.