Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that deals with the causation, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. One of the most dynamic branches of medicine, the scope of Psychiatry is large, with wide ranging influences from a variety of disciplines, like Neuroscience, Anthropology, Sociology -in fact from all branches of human knowledge. 

People seek psychiatric help for various reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, suicidal thoughts, or hearing "voices". Or they may be long-term, such as feelings of hopelessness or sadness, or problems functioning in everyday life. Operating from a holistic bio-psycho-social approach, the psychiatric assessment, begins with a detailed case history, followed by the Mental Status Examination. After the physical examination, psychological testing/laboratory work-up/neuro-imaging are done in select cases. Mental disorders are diagnosed in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10 -WHO) and the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental disorders (DSM-5 -APA). A variety of treatment modalities, including psychotherapy (talk therapy), medications, psycho-social interventions and other treatments (such as ECT), are employed, depending upon the needs of each patient. The scope of Psychiatry is vast, as evidenced by the numerous sub-specialties of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic (legal) Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry etc.

The Department of Psychiatry, one of the foremost centres of teaching and clinical excellence in the country, was established in 1958. It started working at the Mental Health Centre, Thiruvananthapuram and later moved to the medical college campus. Out-patient services, which were initially on alternate days, were subsequently changed to daily O.P, in 1985. In-patient wards for females was opened in 1988, followed by the male ward, in 2002. In 2004, a De-addiction centre was started. The first PG Course in Psychiatry, in Kerala,  Diploma in Psychological Medicine (D.P.M), was started here, in 1975. In 1991, M.D Psychiatry course was started. Postgraduate Diploma courses in Psychology and Psychiatric Social Work were started in 1999. The department provides comprehensive mental health care, meeting global standards, and in conformity with national policies.

The Department is actively involved in setting up a Behavioral ICU. There are plans to enhance the number of MD Psychiatry seats, to 10 per year and also to  start DM/PDF (post-doctoral fellowship) in sub-specialties like Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Neuro-psychiatry.

Facilities at a glance


The Department of Psychiatry functions as 3 units, at the medical college campus. An additional unit works at the Mental Health Centre (MHC), Thiruvananthapuram, and runs a weekly O.P, on fridays. The department also conducts weekly O.P, on fridays, at the Community Health Centre (CHC), Pangappara.


Outpatient Services: Cater to around 30,000 patients per year, at the Medical College O.P. The Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists and the Social scientist, work as a team, in providing integrated care.

                                          OP Days 

                                                  Unit I              Monday Thursday

                                                 Unit II              Tuesday & Friday

                                                Unit III              Wednesday & Saturday

        Mental Health Centre Unit               Friday

                          CHC Pangappara              Friday


Emergency Services: After the OP time, 24/7 emergency services, including consultation-liaison services.


Inpatient services: Female Ward (Ward-10), with 23 beds; Male Ward (Ward- 24), with 20 beds; Child Psychiatry Ward, with 5 beds, and 60 beds at the Mental Health Centre.


Specialty Clinics:


De-addiction ClinicIn 2004, the De-addiction clinic was started. It works from the De-addiction Centre, located on the way to the Directorate of Medical Education. It attends to patients with addiction-related issues, especially Alcohol Use Disorders, who are referred from various departments. Those who require in-patient care are directed for admission. Patients, once registered at the centre, are followed up. The families/friends/relatives of the patients are encouraged to actively participate in the treatment process, thus resulting in successful treatment outcomes. 

Suicide Prevention Clinic:  Started in March 1993. The clinic functions on all Tuesdays, in the Psychiatry O.P. It attends to patients, who had attempted suicide, and thence referred from the medical & surgical wards of the hospital. About 5-7 new cases and about 10 follow-up cases attend every clinic day. Detailed evaluation is followed by appropriate interventions (psychotherapeutic, psycho-social interventions and in select cases, drug therapy).

Psycho-geriatric Clinic: Specialty clinic, which attends to the elderly patients, with mental health issues. These include late-life Depression, Loneliness and also neuro-cognitive disorders (dementias). As many of these patients have multiple physical co-morbidities, the treatment interventions lay extra emphasis on a holistic approach. The primary objective of treatment is to enhance the Quality of Life.  

Child & Adolescent ClinicOne of the oldest such clinics in the state, it caters to the needs of patients, up to the age of 18 years of age. Children are referred from all over the state, with problems ranging from scholastic backwardness to various behavioral and emotional disorders. Assessment includes a detailed clinical evaluation of the child and also observation of family interactions. All the children are assessed, in detail, by the clinical psychologist. Parenting styles are evaluated, with an aim to rectify any deficits. While the vast majority are managed on an OP basis, those who require IP treatment are admitted in the child ward. Treatment is mostly through psychological/behavioral interventions, with some needing drugs. These children are then followed up, especially through their parents & teachers.

Holistic & Stress Research Clinic: Devoted to the holistic management of mental health issues. People from all walks of life, and of different age groups, suffer from immense stress. Issues coping with stress lead to difficulty concentrating, sleeplessness, constant worries and psycho-somatic complaints (aches & pains). They also make worse physical illnesses like Asthma, Arthritis and high blood pressure. A much neglected area till recently, mind-body medicine has much to offer to these patients. At this clinic, which functions on Sundays, at the De-addiction Centre, these persons are evaluated, in a pleasant ambience. An open & humanistic approach helps the patient feel at ease. Yoga and Mindfulness-based meditation, two evidence-based interventions, are employed to manage their problems. The patients are empowered to tackle their issues, on their own. The clinic also conducts Mindfulness workshops and special sessions for medical college faculty.

Opioid Substitution Therapy ClinicOpioid use disorders are on the rise in our state. Our institution started the first Opioid substitution Therapy Clinic in the state. Specialist services are rendered to patients suffering from opioid use disorders, on all days, except Sundays. The unit works in collaboration with stakeholders at the Central, State and N.G.O levels. Patients are provided counseling & support, along with substitution therapy. 


                                               Specialty Clinic Days

           De-addiction Clinic                                          –         All days, except Sundays

           Suicide Prevention Clinic                             –         Tuesday

             Psycho-geriatric Clinic                                 –          Friday

             Child & Adolescent Clinic                            –          Saturday

             Holistic & Stress Research Clinic            –          Sunday

          Opioid Substitution Therapy Clinic                 All days, except Sundays


Consultation-Liaison Services

The Department provides consultation-liaison services to other departments from the Medical College Hospital, and also to SAT Hospital, Sree Chithra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences & Technology and the Regional Cancer Centre.


Other Activities:

The Department provides counseling services to students of both medical & para-medical courses. It actively participates in orientation programs for both first year and also undergraduate trainees, prior to clinical postings. It participates in Anti-ragging activities, encouraging healthy patterns of communication. Training programs and workshops on life-skills, communication, behavior modification and Doctor-patient relationship, are conducted on a regular basis.


1, Conducted the Indian Psychiatric Society-South Zone CME 

2, Conducted the Annual CME of the Indian Psychiatric Society-Kerala State 

3, Conducted the Mid-term CME of the Indian Psychiatric Society-Kerala State 

4, Conducted CME as part of observance of World Suicide Prevention Day

5, Monthly Child Psychiatry CMEs

6, Monthly Holistic Medicine CMEs

7, Workshops on mindfulness based stress-management


Training Programmes:

1, ECRC Training program for care-givers of rehabilitation centres

2, "Srushti" Training program for counselors, working at psycho-social institutions

3, Training of Medical Officers, as part of CMHP

4, Training program for special education teachers

5, Training program for Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) crisis intervention team

6, "Raksha" training program on legal aspects of mental health, to Police officers


Community Psychiatry: These activities are intended to address the psycho-social aspects of mental disorders. They are coordinated by the social scientist at the department, in collaboration with other Government departments and stakeholders like patient self-help groups (MANASA) & other N.G.O.s.


1, Monthly observational activity at psycho-social institutions

2, "Suraksha"- Community-based rehabilitation program

3, Community mental health activities at Chirayankeezhu block panchayat

4, Mental health camps at schools & other institutions

5, Public awareness campaigns, through various media (print, radio and visual)

Other activities

Academic activities:

This Department is one of the most sought after institutions in India, for postgraduate training in Psychiatry. There are 3 MD Psychiatry & 5 D.P.M students enrolling each year. They are provided with excellent facilities for clinical, academic and research activities, at par with global standards. Many of our alumni are practising as eminent academicians and clinicians, in India and abroad.

Post-graduate training: includes bedside teaching, lecture classes, case discussions, symposia, seminars, role-playing activities and journal clubs. In addition, there are monthly lectures by the faculty, book review, film club and invited lectures by eminent persons. Monthly updates on Child Psychiatry & Holistic medicine are a regular feature. As community engagement is essential for psychiatrists, monthly visits are made to institutions, like rehabilitation homes and prisons. This helps sensitize the students to community psychiatric activities. Post-graduate students have regular postings at Mental Health Centre. They also have clinical postings, in specialties like Neurology, Neuro-surgery and Radio-diagnosis. Periodic internal assessments are done to evaluate the candidates. Post-graduates from other departments, like Internal Medicine, Pharmacology, Forensic Medicine and Neurology are also given training in the department. 

Under-graduates:   Regular academic activities (lectures & case discussions), are followed by end-posting exams.

The Department also engages in inter-disciplinary & integrated teaching programs, for pre-clinical as well as paramedical students (BSc Nursing).

Unit symposia and Pre- & post- tests for House Surgeons help impart knowledge to them.

Succession list of HOD's




Head of the Department Succession list
Dr.V.Kumara Pillai1958-1961
Dr.Santha Kumar1968-1978
Dr. N.Prabhakaran1978-1985
Dr.Anil Prabhakaran2010 - Continuing

Faculties on this department


Associate Professor


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Course Particular

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Emergency Enquiry

MCH Casualty
(24 hrs)
ph: 0471-2528300
MCH New OP Block
(8.00 am - 02.00 pm)
ph: 0471-2528469
OP SuperSpecialty Block
(8:00 am - 5:00 pm)
ph: 0471-2528448

Contact us

Trivandrum Medical College,              
Medical College PO,
Kerala State. India PIN - 695 011
Phone no : + 91- 471 -2528386
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