The history of the society and the Rehabilitation Home is long and eventful . The pioneer of this society was Dato' Seri M Mahadevan. He , a consultant psychiatrist of Hospital Bahagia, in October 1969 suggested a pilot project of a rehabilitation programme for the emotionally disturbed persons and medically cured mental patients. Thus the society began functioning humbly at 28 Clarke Street , Ipoh. In the first 10 months of operation , the Centrre provided 20 mental patients with supervised occupational therapy sessions daily.
From various findings made through discussions and the Pilot Project, it was then decided that a voluntary body be formed with the aim of securing the cooperation and interest of the public on mental health. The main objectives of the body was to devise programmes to break down the public prejudice that is being held against mentally cured patients. It was also to establish ways by which aftercare and rehabilitation could be made available to the discharged persons in cooperation with the Government Psychiatric Service. The Perak Society for the Promotion of Mental Health was thus formed on 9 September 1970 under the distinguished patronage of HRH the Sultan of Perak with a total membership of 80 persons. Mr. FL Cowie was elected the first President of the Society and held this office until 1976.
The Society took over the running of the "Day Care Centre" at the Luther Clinic in April 1971 and in September 1971 it was shifted to 18 Tiger Lane ( Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah ), Ipoh . In 1978 , the Centre had to move into a larger temporary premises in Taman Kinta, off Gopeng Road. During the same year, the State Government of Perak gave the Society 12 acres of land at Jalan Tambun, Ulu Kinta. to establish a permanent centre for the rehabilitation of mental patients. In February 1984 the foundation stone was laid for a centre with an administrative block, a work area, a kitchen and dining area, stores and sundry rooms and four chalets. On 27 July 1985 , this centre was declared open by DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Shah, the patron of the Society.
Dato'Dr M Majumdar took over the reign of the Society from 1986. Various activities for rehabilitation were introduced. these include singing, dancing and various occupational therapeutic activities.
In 1992, a house was rented in Taman Tambun to house fully rehabilitated patients. From here they could go to work in the day and return to fend for themselves at night . In 1994 , an orchid project was started to provide rehabilitation activities for the residents. This was followed by an ambitious project to develop a place in Ipoh City as Drop-in Centre where ex-patients of Hospital Bahagia can drop in and socialize and receive moral support.This Centre was declared open by the Lord Mayor of Ipoh in October 1994. This Drop-in Centre is the first of its kind in Perak
On 29 September 1996 a covered Workshop was opened by Dato' Chua Jui Meng ( Minister of Health ). This workshop would house various facilities for various activities that would not only help to rehabilitate patients discharged from Hospital Bahagia but would also enable them to earn an income to be independent financially and be less dependent on family support.
There is still a lot to be done to utilize the full potential of the site and much more to be done in rehabilitating ex-mental patients. However , the greater challenge is still winning the minds of the people. We have a long way to go in removing the prejudices and fear targeted at mental illness. We need to strive to enable the population that is increasingly undergoing greater stress as we proceed to be a developed nation by 2020 to cope with such mental pressures.
LAST UPDATE 03/11/96
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