THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The mental health department of Mengo hospital was established on October 1st in the year 2009.
This started basically under the Out-patient Department with the main objective of providing the much required consultation liaison psychiatry services alongside the Medical team who identify the cases and refer for further assessment and comprehensive management by the Psychiatric team including other curative and rehabilitative services.
The department started with a Psychiatric Nurse, Clinical Psychologist and a visiting Psychiatrist offering outpatient consultation clinics on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
- Assessment of patients identified for psychiatric reviews from Out- patients Department and the Wards
- Psychotherapy and Psycho education
- Clinical management of the diagnosed mental and psychosocial disorders including admission of acute cased on the ward for close monitoring
- Conducting sensitization and community awareness programs
- Conducting continued medical education services for the in-service medical staff
- Follow up and psychosocial rehabilitative services for patients who have improved on medication
- Planning, administration and record keeping at the department level
The clinic runs on Thursday afternoon but the department remains open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm for assessment of both out and in-patients except for public holidays.
UNIQUENESS OF THE SERVICES
According to Kapland and Shaddock (2002), 65% of the patients who report to the primary care clinicians do not have a diagnosable disease with an organic cause or evidence on laboratory investigation. These complaints are majorly a myriad of psychosomatic symptoms, indicating the presence of established psychosomatic illnesses such as convulsions, Somatization, Hypochondriasis and Factitious Disorders among others.
Psychosomatic diseases are those disorders that originate from the mind and affect the body but have no diagnosable organic or laboratory evidence
It is against this back ground that this service is availed to fill the gap between the general medical and the specialized psychiatric services in form of the consultation liaison service.
Increased awareness on the presence of the mental health services in the hospital both by the hospital staff and members of the general public.
Provision of specialized psychological management of the common mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and dementia among others
We conduct continuingmedical education sessions and mental health camps for the benefit of the general publicin and out of the hospital.
We now receive a number of intern students of psychology and psychiatric nursing from higher institutions of learning whom we have supported and supervised under the directive of the hospital management.
The patient turn up has significantly increased following the improvement of awareness on the availability ofthe specialized services in the hospital.
We now have a psychiatric Nurse, Psychiatric Clinical Officer and a visiting Psychiatrist and therefore now need only a clinical psychologist for the department to be fully constituted for clinical management.