Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 198-202

The development of mental hospitals in West Bengal: A brief history and changing trends

Department of Psychiatry, Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, Berhampore, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ranjan Bhattacharyya
29, Anandasree, Garia, Kolkata - 700 084, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_432_17

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The communication between G. S Bose and Sigmund Freud is a well-documented fact, and philosophical blend of rich cultural experiences is unique to modification of traditional psychoanalysis in the context of development of psychiatry in West Bengal. The Calcutta lunatic asylum was established at Bhowanipore, and first general hospital psychiatric unit was formed at R. G. Kar Medical College, Calcutta. Prof. Ajita Chakraborty was a pioneer to describe her struggling days in the early career and shared her views with experiences in her autobiography. The volume and quality of research work, especially in the field of epidemiology led by Dr. D. N. Nandi is worth mentioning. A jail had been converted to mental hospital which is the largest in terms of bed strength (n = 350) at Berhampore, Murshidabad district where Kazi Nazrul Islam and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had spent some period as prisoner during British rules. Bankura was the first district in West Bengal to start District Mental Health program. The various nongovernmental organizations are working together in public–private partnership model or indigenous ways in tandem over years for the betterment of mental health services both at institutional and community level.



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