The central government has given an in-principle approval to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Science (NIMHANS) to start a Center for Consciousness Studies. This was announced by NIMHANS Director and Vice Chancellor Dr BN Gangadhar during the Institute Day Celebrations here on Tuesday.
Dr Gangadhar was responding to the call of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to the mental health professionals at NIMHANS to conduct research in the space of consciousness. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in his speech pointed out that such research is taking place in the U.S. “We must do them in India, too,” he added. Ravi Shankar pointed out that there was a need for people to find happiness. “There should be more happiness centers in the world, where people could come, meditate and get happiness,” he said.
Ravi Shankar also said that science and spiritual in India were never at loggerheads. They never conflicted each other. Any truth that is not open to scientific scrutiny is not truth at all. We are always open to scientific appraisal, he said, adding, “This country needs mental health education.” He called upon mental health professionals at NIMHANS to take the lead in educating the masses on mental health and wellbeing.
In his talk, Dr Gangadhar described the various initiatives taken by NIMHANS in providing a more integrated treatment to people with mental illness.