ANTARAGRAM- THE OASIS FOR TROUBLED MINDS
‘ANTARAGRAM’ means ‘ANTARA VILLAGE’ and in many ways is not just a hospital but a community, situated on the edge of greater Kolkata- 25km south of the city centre. …..
It became the base for ANTARA’s work in 1980 when Mother Teresa laid the foundation stone. When the first staff arrived the site was no more than a walled garden with a chicken hut and fish ponds. Thanks to their dedication and vision and the support of many ‘the oasis for troubled minds’ took shape. Today Antaragram has Residential Treatment Centres for male and female patients, Occupational therapy and Vocational Training Units, Out Patient Departments, Library & Reading Room, Residential Quarters for Staff and Community Kitchen. The Antara Community includes both resident staff and patients creating a family like atmosphere. Members ensure 24-hours care, attention , safety and security to inmates. The members of the Community share a common mess and common way of living.
The ANTARAGRAM centre is home to over 150 men and women receiving residential treatment in one of its five wards. These are.
•The Cathederal Relief Service ward for men with psychiatric illnesses.
•The Armenian Church ward for women with acute psychiatric illnesses
•The ICCO ward for rehabilitation of women with chronic psychiatric illnesses
•The Missionaries of Charity rehabilitation ward for men with chronic psychiatric illnesses.
• The Mar Thoma Church ward for men with drug addiction or alcoholism.
All residents share common meals, dormitory accommodation and a daily programme of classes, counselling, occupational therapy, recreation and self help groups as well as receiving specialist care from psychologists and psychologists of ANTARAGRAM.
Out patient services are offered both at the Round Table Medicare centre at ANTARAGRAM or via satellite clinics in the inner city or rural centres.
These provide a wide range of services including:
•Adult Psychiatry OPD -Diagnosis, treatment and medication for psychiatric illnesses and addiction
•Child Psychiatry OPD- For children under 15 yrs suffering from psychiatric disorders, behavioural problems or mental retardation.
•Counselling, guidance and psychometry testing.
•General Medical OPD for patients from a large area for general illnesses including a TB clinic.
•Safe Motherhood and Child Survival clinic- providing nutritional support, growth monitoring and health education for children of 300 families from surrounding village communities.
•Para-clinical programmes including pathology laboratory to facilitate fast and accurate diagnosis,
OCCUPATIONA L THERAPY
Occupational therapy is an important and effective method for the treatment of residents with all kinds of illness, helping to restore social skills and confidence, aswell as develop skills and encourage the maintenance of a healthy and productive life. Antara runs a ‘day care’ programme for outpatients who join residents in activities in the work therapy units, such as poultry farm, horticultural nursery, agriculture, textiles, art and craft departments.
Work therapy has a second role for ANTARA, helping to generate income which can support the provision of free or concessionary treatment for the poorer patients. A scheme to supply potted plants to hotels and businesses aswell as sales of agricultural produce, honey, handmade and printed cards and plastic products helps generate income which can make the organisation more self sufficient
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