INDIAN ASSOCIATION FOR GERIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH / SECRETARY’S ANNUAL REPORT 2014
It I indeed a privilege for me to be part of the IAGMH as it completes a decade, and the year 2013-2014 has been an eventful year at the offices of the IAGMH. In the report that follows, I would like to highlight some of the important milestones we have crossed this year:
GERON 2013, held in the city of Lucknow in from 18th-20th August,2013, under the excellent organizational skills of Prof. S.C. Tiwari and his team, was a grand success, with approximately 150 delegates attending. The theme ‘Preserving Cognition in Older Adults’ was well thought of, and the planning was meticulous and precise. With numerous national and international faculty attending, it indeed invoked interest in many, for the field of geriatric mental health. Coupled with this was the foundation day celebration of the Department of Geriatric Mental Health at CSMMU, Lucknow in which the government of Uttar Pradesh, granted a huge fund for development of an exclusive research centre for geriatric mental health, the first of its kind in the country.
The IAGMH MID-TERM CME was held in Bengaluru at NIMHANS on 17th-18th May, 2014 under the precise planning by Dr. Mathew Varghese, Dr. P.T. Shivkumar and their team. The theme ‘Non-cognitive Disorders in the Elderly: Issues and Challenges in Management’ attracted 120 delegates. The talks were precise, relevant and largely clinically oriented which the audience at large found beneficial. The organizing team had taken pains to see that all went off smoothly and the CME was accredited by the local council. A beautiful report was prepared by the organizing committee, which will probably be one of the first official documents that we have to archive.
GERON 2014 – it is rather ironic that a decade in the history of the IAGMH should be celebrated with GERON in the vibrant and historic city of Kolkata on 6th -7th September, 2014. Planned around the theme of ‘Caregivers: Issues and Challenges in Geriatric Mental Health’ –it delves into an often ignored paradigm. I’m sure the conference and intense planning by the organizing team will result in a resounding success. This too has been accredited by the local medical council.
It is wonderful to state that we now have 26 new members added to our family, raising the total strength to 390. Among these, most are young, budding post-graduate doctors, which is a great encouragement to our organization which aims at creating awareness and interest in the field of geriatric mental health. Of these, we have 11 from the central zone, 3 from north zone, 2 from east zone, 6 from west zone, and 5 from the south zone. We hope in the year 2014-15 to focus on the membership drive and further strengthen our numbers.
It is solely the extreme dedication and hard work put forward by Dr.G. Prasad Rao, that we are proud to boast of a fully functional website this year. We have on an average 400-450 hits per month, with an increase of this to 621 in July as many visited for the CME content. There are also many international visitors to the site.
Hence the next step forward is to increase the scientific content in the website, which perhaps can be done only with increased contribution from members of the IAGMH itself, and subsequently even have an interactive platform through the website.
It seemed like an impossible task when we first nominated Dr. Sandeep Grover last year as Editor in the AGBM at Lucknow, but with his utmost sincerity, determination and perseverance, not to mention the unconditional support from our Vice-President, Dr. T.S.S. Rao, they have managed to bring out the first publication of the journal in its new avatar- JGMH- Journal for Geriatric Mental Health. Our editor has managed to raise Rs. 98,000 from sponsorships, the rest being seed money for the journal. It was released in the Inaugural Ceremony earlier today, and we have full faith that now that the publication has started, we will soon be an indexed journal with high quality scientific content.
Dr. S. P. Gupta has been treasurer since the inception of the organization and diligently maintains all records of the treasury. He along with his Jt. Treasurer, Dr. Vishal Sinha, have seen to it that majority of the funds are well placed in FD’s and we earn good interest from the same- details of which will be furnished in his report. We are grateful to the organizing teams of the conference – Prof. S.C. Tiwari and the CME- Prof. Mathew Varghese, for their contribution to our corpus.
MENTAL HEALTH POLICY
We are very grateful to Dr. Arabinda Brahma who requested his uncle Dr. R.K. Brahma to draft a policy for elder individuals for us. This was all possible at the suggestion and at the behest of the President, Dr. Indira Sharma. The policy will be circulated to all EC members for their valuable inputs and then taken further to the policy makers of the country.
INDIVIDUAL MEMBER ACHIEVEMENTS
It is indeed a matter of great pride that our founder President, Prof. S.C. Tiwari has been awarded the Oversea’s Bursary by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK for Old Age Psychiatry. He has also been made Chief Medical Superintendent of King George University Medical Hospitals.
Dr. G. Prasad Rao, our website in-charge, has numerous activities outlined at Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, among which is a research project on cognitive training in dementia; counseling for relatives of patients with AD; and a fashion parade and entertainment evening by the elder on World Alzheimer’s Day.
At the Gautam Centre for Neurosciences, Prof. Shiv Gautam and Dr. Manaswi Gautam have regularly conducted symposia and awareness programmes for elder individuals.
We applaud our members for their individual efforts. We hope next year create a module for use across the country on World Alzheimer’s Day- 21st September.
AWARDS AND ORATION
We are proud of the winners
IAGMH INTAS AWARD 2014
1ST Prize: Deepika Singh & Jahnavi Kedare
‘A study of depression in medically ill elderly patients with respect to coping strategies and spirituality as a way of coping’
2nd Prize: Sandeep Grover, Subho Chakrabarti & Ajit Avasthi
‘Knowledge about and Attitude towards ECT of Elderly patients with severe mental disorders’
3rd Prize: Pradeep Deshmukh, .Shipra Singh, Apurva Ungratwar, Alka Subramanyam, Ravindra Kamath
‘Does resilience affect Illness perception and well being in elderly?’
PROF. (DR.)SHIV GAUTAM ORATION 2014
Prof. (Dr.)Mathew Varghese, Bengaluru for ‘Prevention in Geriatric Psychiatry’.
There was no recipient for the Smt. Shweta Tiwari Memorial Award for Best Young Researcher this year.
We have introduced a post-graduate quiz for the 1st time ever in any GERON, this year. We hope it will attract more young talent to the field of geriatric mental health.
We hope in the coming year to focus on increasing our web presence, create archives of our organization’s history and achievements, and finalize a mental health policy for elder care.
Friends, these 2 years as Hon. Secretary have been a wonderful and enriching, learning experience. I thank the President’s I have worked with- Prof. Shiv Gautam and Prof. Indira Sharma for their support. I thank our seniors Dr. S.C. Tiwari, Dr. Shaji, my mentor Dr. C. Pinto,Dr. Mathew Varghese, Dr. T.S.S. Rao and Dr. G. Prasad Rao, all of whom I have troubled on multiple occasions in my tenure. I have had the fortune to work with great colleagues like Dr. Omprakash Jhirwal and Dr. Sandeep Grover, and during the course of the year Dr. P.T. Sivakumar, Dr. Preeti and Dr. Gautam Saha, all of whom I believe have the potential to play an active role at the helm of affairs of the IAGMH.
While I step down I do apologize for any errors I may have made knowingly or unknowingly, as I have always only put the best interest of the organization above everything else, and tried to achieve whatever was possible in these 2 years. My successor has very strong shoulders to carry the responsibility, and I’m sure Dr. Jahnavi will take the organization to the next level.
I end by thanking you all for having the faith in me to carry out the task.
Yours in IAGMH,
Dr. Alka A. Subramanyam