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Annual Report 2011


1.0     Introduction

    • Legal Status

The Council is incorporated as a body Corporate by an Act of  Parliament: The  National Council for Mental Health ( NCMH )  -Sahanaya  (Incorporation) Act, No  11 of 1986.

The NCMH has been declared as an approved charity for purposes of the Inland Revenue Act by the Ministry of Finance (Government Gazette No. 254 of 15.07.1983) and is designated as a Voluntary Association by the Department of Social Services (Registration No. COL/61/82).

 The NCMH is also registered under the Non Government Organizations Regulation No. 01 of 1993 (Registration No. 00015).

1.2       Objectives

The objectives of the National Council for Mental Health – “Sahanaya” are:-

  • Promoting and facilitating the development of mental health services in Sri Lanka
  • Providing a range of mental health services including clinical and counseling services
  • Raising awareness regarding community based mental health
  • Providing education and training on mental health, for lay and medical personnel
  • Conducting education and training programmes in mental health care, for professionals
  • Conducting rehabilitation and skills development programmes
  • Providing day care and residential facilities for the mentally affected
  • Initiating and engaging in studies and research related to mental health
  • Mobilizing resources for mental health development
  • Engaging in any other activity relevant to the development of mental health

1.3       Patron

His Excellency the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of  Sri Lanka

1.4    The Management Committee

Under the provisions of the Act, the affairs of the Council are administered by a Management Committee consisting of both medical professionals and others elected from among the members at an annual general meeting. The Management Committee ordinarily meets at least once a month. During the year under review it had held 11 monthly meetings.

The Management Committee of the Council for the year 2011 comprised the following:

            President                     :           Mr. Ranjith Wirasinha
Vice Presidents:                      Mr. Susil Sirivardana 
Mr. L.D. Asoka.Jayasinghe
Hony. Secretary          :           Dr.  A. Nirmala I.Wijesinghe
Hony. Treasurer          :           Ms. G.Nelum.K. Peiris
Asst. Secretary            :           Mr. Poorna de Silva
Asst. Treasurer            :           Mr. Nihal A. Rodrigo

1.5  Committee Members:

  • Mr. Rohan Tudawe
  • Dr.  Harsha de Silva M.P.
  • Dr. Nirosha Mendis
  • Mr.Harsha Soysa
  • Mr. Eraj de Silva
  • Dr. Gamini Prematilake
  • Ms. Seema Mohamed
  • Mrs. Cyrene Siriwardene
  • Mr. Vitus Fernando
  • Mrs. Sherine Senadhira

Dr. Nirosha Mendis and Dr. Prematilleke are appointees to the Management Committee in terms of the rules of the NCMH, to represent those with professional qualifications in the field of mental health.

1.6        Administration of the Council
The administration of the Council activities is managed by the  Director , Dr. Nirosha Mendis,
under the overall supervision of the Management Committee through the President, Secretary,
Treasurer and relevant sub committees.  He is assisted by the Chief Administrator and the Accountant.
The Council Secretariat is housed at the Borella Centre and serves as the operational arm of the Management Committee.

Dr.Nirosha Mendis, as the Medical Director, NCMH since January 2009, has provided the necessary
leadership for the professional activities, in honorary capacity. He has initiated a number of measures to increase the spectrum of technical activities and to enhance the quality of services, so as to be responsive to changing needs and to  improve financial management. These measures are expected to provide avenues for meeting emerging needs of services in mental health care and in maintaining Sahanaya at the forefront of community based mental health care.

The Director exercises responsibility to the Management Committee for planning and development
of activities , the conduct of professional programmes, mobilizing resources as needed and monitoring  and evaluation of professional programmes.

1.7 Financial Information 2011

The Income and Expenditure Statements for the year ended 31st December 2011 and the Balance Sheet as at 31st December 2011 are tabled herewith, along with the Audit Report.  The financial affairs of the Council have been duly audited by M/s Ernest & Young Chartered Accountants.

1.8   Membership

The membership of the Council as at 31st December, 2011 comprised 206 life Members and 5 Corporate Members.

1.9 Board of Trustees

The Trustees who are appointed by the Management Committee in terms of Section 6 of the National Council for Mental Health –“Sahanaya” (Incorporation) Act No. 11 of 1986, form the Board of Trustees. The Trustees are empowered to raise funds for the development of mental health and to support public mental health activities undertaken by the NCMH and manage funds so raised or entrusted to it by the Management Committee and to disburse such funds, for the said purposes in accordance with the Board of Trustee Rules - 2006.

The Board of Trustees comprised the following members:

Prof. Nalaka Mendis               (Chairman)
Mr. K. Kanag-Isvaran P.C.
Mr. Mahen Dayananda
Mr. Trevine Fernandopulle

The President and members of the Management Committee record with deep appreciation, the assistance and cooperation extended by the members of the Board of Trustees during the year while expressing the hope that they would continue to support the Council in our future endeavours.


2.1 Professional Activities
The focus of Sahanaya activities has been mainly on three categories, Viz
a)   The long term mentally affected
b)   Persons with psychosocial problems
c)   Community and special interest groups
d)    Awareness raising and training
2.2  Clinical Services
Clinical and counseling services are provided to those who attend the centres.  
Those who require psychiatric care, counseling and treatment, are attended to, by the consultant psychiatrist.
All those who seek admission for day care and rehabilitation services with a referral letter from the psychiatrists treating them, are provided with constant care and followed up through assessments, clinical treatment, counseling, individual therapy, group therapy, family support and home visits etc.
2.3   Awareness Raising, Training and Research
Raising awareness on the issues of mental health and mental health care and education and training as relevant, have been identified as very necessary. Therefore, the Council carries out programmes and activities to meet these needs, on occasion with others. Where there is a need and support is available for research, the Council associates itself in assistance that it may provide.
2.4 The Activity Centres of the Council

The NCMHmanages two activity centres, one  at 96/20, Kitulwatta Road , Colombo-08 (Borella) and
The other at 115/2, Galkanuwa Road , Gorakana, Panadura.

2.5 Public Awareness- Information, Education and Training Programmes

NCMH, Sahanaya carried out many educational programmes during the year, for individuals and institutions interested in the field of Mental Health.

*Final Year Medical students from the Colombo, Kelaniya and Sri Jayawardenapura Medical faculties attended NCMH as part of their clinical attachments in psychiatry throughout the year under review. Training programmes were conducted for 478 medical students came in 23 groups.

 *Awareness and training programmes on Sahanaya and its activities were conducted for  Bsc. Nursing Students from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

*A training programme was conducted in Community Mental Health for the students referred by the National Institute of Social Development.

*Three internees specializing in psychology  referred by the American National College Sri Lanka  attended the NCMH for training in community mental health.

*A training programme in development of quality of life and skills development  was conducted for social work students referred by the department of Sociology, University of Colombo.

*Fifty two teachers from the Teachers Training College Maharagama attended the
NCMH  for training in mental health and mental health care.

NCMH as in previous years, has benefited much from the Advocacy Groups , Psychiatrists,
Psychologists, Volunteers and Caregivers who devoted their valauble time, finaces and  efforts in assisting the Council to carry out its programmes.

2.6 Workshops sponsored and conducted by Foreign delegations.

A two day workshop on Creative therapy and Mental Health was conducted by an Israeli delegation headed by Professor Mooli Lahad, Medical Psychologist, President Community Stress Prvention Centre Israel in collaboration with N.C.M.H. Sahanaya, for 56 participants of various categories of  Government officers and N.G.O representatives. Professor Mooli and another Israeli lecturer did a field survey in Matara , Matugama, General Hospital Kalutara, Wadduwa to observe the programmes conducted by the Master trainers in  Mental Health, who were trained by him and his group of trainers in  the years 2005,2006 and 2008. He had a one day  review on the programmes conducted by the Master Trainers utilizing the knowledge they gained from the programmes conducted during  the above period. Professor Mooli  and the other Lecturer Mrs. Noga were  highly satisfied with the performances of the Master Trainers reviewed during the field surveys.

2.7 Diploma Course in Practical Counseling and Mental Health

The course which was introduced to the Training Programme of the NCMH, on a proposal made by Dr. Nirosha Mendis, Director NCMH in 2010 was conducted this year also.
Competitive examinations were held at the end of each semester and certificates were awarded at the end of the year to those who were successful in the examinations.

2.8 External Programmes

The relevant officers of the NCMH attended,  also participated in programmes conducted by other organizations.

  • Meeting of the National Committee on Mental Health conducted by the Mental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health.
  • Monthly Psychosocial Health Forum conducted at  the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies
  • Institute of Health Policy Survey of NGO funded Health Expenditures Sri Lanka..
  • Dr. Nirosha Mendis , Director N.C.M.H. conducted lecture/discussions on domestic Violence and Mental Health at the Air Force Base Katunayake organized by the 'Seva Vanitha ' Sri Lanka.

2.9 Participation in Exhibitions

NCMH  staff participated in the following:

*Health Care Exhibition held by the Ministry of Health Western Province at the BMICH
Colombo in March 2011.

*Health and health related Services Exhibition conducted by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

*Exhibition conducted by the ‘MILK” Barnes Place ,Colombo.

*Mental Health Exhibition  conducted at the Army Hospital, Narahenpita.

2.10 Link with the Media

A Media Conference was conducted at the auditorium of the NCMH on 18th November 2011.  Personnel from the electronic and print media were present for the occasion.

Dr Nirosha Mendis, Director, NCMH spoke on mental health and mental health care and how NCMH contributes towards mental health and mental health care.

Speeches were made by the relevant officers from the Skills Development Division, Information Training and Education Division and Resource Centre Gorakana.

2.11 Fund Raising
Most charities require fund raising activities to meet their financial requirements.,
A fashion show 'Step in style' was staged as a  fund raiser at Galadari Hotel, Colombo on 26th March 2011. A number of leading models in Sri Lanka participated in the Fashion Show and a  Souvenir  was also published to mark the occasion.
High officilals of Sri Lanka Army and Air Forece, along with over two hundred distinguished guests participated on this occasion.
The proceeds from the show Rs.1,022,982/- were utilized for upgrading the auditoriums at the NCMH, Borella Centre.
In December, 2011 the Council’s neighbour, the Royal Colombo Golf Club organized a charity golf tournament for NCMH and provided the proceeds of the tournament amounting to Rs.3,095,081/- to NCMH.   We extend our very grateful thanks to the Royal Colombo Golf Club for the gracious act of charity.  The funds are retained under the assets of the Council as the RCGC Fund.  The donation from the Royal Golf Club Tournament held in December 2011.
2.12  Sahanaya Day , 07th March 2011 (29th Anniversary)

Sahanaya Day celebration was organized by the staff of Gorakana Resource Centre , in collaboration with the  Borella Resource Centre. The members of the Community Supportive Committee of the Gorakana Resource Centre extended their cooperation in organizing this event.

Professor Nalaka Mendis , Dr, Harsha De Silva , ( Hon. Member of the Parliament ), and member of the Management Committee of NCMH, Mr. Gunasena , who donated the land at Gorakana, Dr. Frank Jayasinghe, Chairman, Richmond Fellowship , Sri Lanka and Dr. Gamini Prematilake,Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. N Sivakumara, Chief M.O. H .Panadura Centre and members of the Coommunity Supportive Committee of Gorakana Resource Centre were some of distinguished invitees who graced the occasion.

World Mental Health Day

The World Mental Health Day ( 10th October 2011) was commemorated at N.C.M.H., Borella
Centre. Air Marshal H.D. Abeywickrema, Commander of the  Sri Lanka Air force graced the
Occasion as the chief Guest.

Dr. Amal Harsha De  Silva, Director of Health Services, Western Province, The President and the member of the Management Committee, members of the  Sri Lanka Air Force,Volunteers and Care Givers of N.C.M.H Sahanaya  were some of the distinguished invitees present at the occasion.

Air  Marshal H.D. Abeywickrema, Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force and Dr. Nirosha Mendis, Director addressed the gathering.

An exhibition of arts and crafts produced by the clients and information material on health , was on display. The exhibition was declared open by Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva , Director of Health Services Western Province. Teachers and Students of Ananda College Colombo and Stafford College International, were present at the exhibition on invitation. A seminar on mental health was conducted for the teachers and students, on the issues they encounter related to various mental problems.

The Management Committee of N.C.M.H. wishes to thank all those who extended their cooperation to make the event a success.  They were:


  1. Women in Need
  2. CCC Line

Government Institutions ( Department of Health)

  • NPTCCD ( Anti T.B. Campaign)
  • Public Health Veterinary Services ( Rabies Control)

Pharmaceutical companies who participated in the sponsorship

  •  Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Euro Asian Pharma (Pvt) Ltd.
  • P.C. Pharma
  • Mega Pharma

Management Committee wishes to thank the NGO'S and the officials of the Government
Institutions for their active participation and the pharmaceutical companies for their generous sponorships.

3.0  TheResource Centres of the Council  

3.1       The Resource Centre, Borella

This Centre continued to operate under the purview of the Director, Dr. Nirosha Mendis, assisted by the Chief Administrator as well as other professional and non professional staff, the Centre concentrated on providing services on: Rehabilitation and Skills Development, Counseling  and Information, Education and Training.

3.1.1 Rehabilitation Services
Daily activities in self care, skills development and communication, were conducted to enhance  hygiene, inborn talents, creative skills  and  mental  status  of the  care receivers  at  the   Rehabilitation  Division. A  team  of  resourceful  and  committed volunteers  conducted  activities  such  as  relaxation therapy , English, creative writing, sewing computer training, art therapy, drama therapy music, fabric painting, making of Christmas, New Year  and Birthday cards, and  cookery demonstrations. Physical fitness training, indoor and outdoor games etc. also were done during the year 2011.

3.1.2 Activities conducted for the care receivers

Special Activities:

Meetings and discussions conducted for care receivers and care givers

Meetings  of the  clients  group  were  held every  month as usual at which issues encountered were discussed.  In addition planning of events such as, picnics, and other outings etc. was undertaken.

Monthly  meetings  of caregivers  were  conducted  during  the  year. Dr. Nirosha Mendis, Director N.C.M.H., Dr. Gamini  Prematileka, and the Consultant Psychiatrist addressed  the meetings on caring for the clients  effectively at home.  The current situation of clients, and  how they  could improve the quality of life of clients was also discussed.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebration

This was held on 27th April, and is an annual event for the clients. All the care  receivers volunteers, Care givers and representatives of the management committee were present at this event; all the clients participated in the events and prizes were awarded to the winners. Each received a prize.,

Wesak Celebration

The Wesak Bhakthi Gee Saraniya was held on the Wesak full moon day under the patronage of Mr. Jagath Angage, Minister of Health Western Province.  Both the clients and the technical staff participated in the activity with the guests and care givers.  The premises was illuminated with the lanterns made by the clients.

Musical Show

The Sahanaya volunteers, caregivers and the staff organized a Musical Show in September 2011 and the Year End party on the 17th of December 2011

Christmas Party

The Christmas party was held in December and the clients participated in the Christmas Carol Programme.  They also received Christmas gifts.

Visits by Music /TV and Radio artistes/ Professionals, to the Rehabilitation Division.

Veteran Music Director and singer Mrs. Nanda Malinie  conducted a two hour musical
programme  on 06th April 2011.

Mrs.  Preethi  Randeniya,  wife   of  veteran  film  actor  Mr. Raveendra  Randeniya
visited  on 27th  May 2011and had a friendly discussion with the clients.

Dr. Y. Kulasekera,  Consultant  Paediatrition  visited  on 17th August 2011 and had a discussion  with  the care  receivers about  their  personal  hygiene and other health needs.

Other Assistance and Contributions

Mrs. C.N.H. Perera , a resident of Australia, sponsored a  lunch to the care receivers, in memory of her brother, Mr. Ondaatjie.

A free lunch was offered to the care receivers by a well wisher Mr. Rajamanthrie for the birthday of his son Lakshitha Rjamanthrie.

A free hair cutting service was provided every first Friday of the month for the care receivers by a professional in that field.  A mobile dental clinic was conducted for the clients with the Dental Institute of the Ministry of Health providing the service.


The volunteers have contributed significantly towards the rehabilitation and skills development programme.  They have conducted numerous activities to support the rehabilitation of Sahanaya clients.

External programmes organized for care receivers  at the day centre

* Visit to Gangarama Temple, Clombo 02.
*Participated in the commemoration of Sahanaya Day at the Gorakana Resource Centre on 7th March 2011.
*Visit to the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum Ratmalana on 13th July 2011.
*The care receivers were taken to see the movie ‘Mahindagamanaya’ to Lido
Cinema Borella on 27th May 2011and Ritz cinema to see the movie “Ethuma, Methuma”.
*Visit to Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya and Temple of Tooth Relic on 02nd September 2011.

Attendance , admission and discharge of clients

Fifteen new clients joined the Rehabilitation Division during the  year under review, increasing the number of total registered clients to 118. The average attendance for a month was 25 clients. Those who   were  rehabilitated were discharged  and  they  found  employment  in  various  organizations.  Their performances are being monitored periodically.

The Social Services Department continued to reimburse the cost of clients’ bus fare and lunch throughout the year.

Management extends its grateful thanks to all volunteers, donors and artistes who dedicated their time, effort and finances to entertain and develop the care receivers.

3.1.3  Staff Changes
Resignations during the year
Mr.R. Samarajeewa - Administrator
S. Liyanagunawardena – Trainee Counselor

New Appointments
Mr. Hemaratna Madampage – Logistics Officer
Ms. Pushpika Narasinghe       - Accountant
Ms. Thanuja Lakmali              - Receptionist
Mr. B.J. Mudalige                   -Operations Manager

3.2 The Resource Centre,  Gorakana,  Panadura

NCMH Resource Centre, Gorakana provides a residential rehabilitation facility and a day care programme for those mentally affected.  Admissions require a referral from a psychiatrist and the period of residence for rehabilitation is limited to a maximum of 6 months.

3.2.1 Administration of the Centre

For carrying out the activities at the Centre, there is a qualified and experienced matron resident at the Centre.  The other staff comprises an admistrative officer and mental health officers.  The management is overseen from the headquarters in Borella.

3.2.2  Clinical & Psychosocial Skill Development.

Clinical and Psychosocial development activities are carried out under the supervision of Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. K.T.G. Prematilake.

Clients participated in horticulture, music, drama and dancing activities.  Music and drama therapy sessions were conducted with the assistance of a few volunteers. They were also trained in the art of making pillow cases, screen painting, making floor and table mats, as an occupational activity.  The clients prepared paintings and writings for the Wall Magazine with the help of the Mental Health Officers.

3.2.3   Occupancy

Residents        From an occupancy rate of 11 inmates at the beginning of 2010, the number increased to 23 by December 2011

Day care receivers:  The number of day care receivers increased from 2 at the beginning of 2011  to 6 by December 2011

3.2.4 Staff Changes


Ms. P.A. Kamala - Resident Matron
Ms. J. A. Kusumawathie - Assistant to the Matron
Ms. M. Padmini de Silva - Cook

New Appointments
Ms. Bimba Samarakkody  - Resident Matron


The Donations for the year ended 31st December 2011 are tabled herewith.

Dr. S.D.W.Edirisooriya

   30,000. 00

Mendis Mackwoods.

   32,500. 00

No name.

   18,500. 00

Mrs. M.Bandara

   58,500. 00

Hayleys PLC


Swiss Biogenics

     8,000. 00

Chemical Industries Colombo PLC


Mrs. M.Wijekoon


Mr.& Mrs. J.A.Ariyaratnam

.  15,000.00

Mr. M. Albert Perera and Mrs. Marjie Perera


Royal Colombo Golf Club


Sahanaya also continues to receive donations in kind. Among the major donations were the following

Messrs. Van Rees Ltd.

 03 Kg. Tea dust per month

Messrs. Tea Tang Ltd.

03 Kg. Tea dust per month

Messrs. Upali News Papers Ltd.

A copy Divaina and Island ,Daily


Several individuals, public agencies, corporate sector, community organizations, international agencies etc, have supported the National Council for Mental Health in its activities during the year under review.  The Council wishes to place on record its gratitude for all such support. The Council acknowledges its particular indebtedness to the following

*          Ministry of Health & Nutrition
*          The Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare
*          The Department of Social Services (Western Province)
*          Divisional Secretariat, Thimbirigasyaya
*          Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo
*          Faculty of Medicine, University of  Sri Jayewardenapura
*          Faculty of Medicine, Univery of Kelaniya.
*          University Psychiatric Unit of the National Hospital, Colombo
*          Visiting staff of Sahanaya Centre in Borella and Gorakana
*          The donors of Sahanaya
*          The volunteers of Sahanaya
*          Friends of Sahanaya
*          The Management Committee   of the National Council for Mental Health
*          Officers and Staff of Sahanaya 

No. 96/20, Kitulwatta Road,
Colombo - 08.
Sri Lanka
Tel 011 2685960
Fax 011 5356689
Working Hours Mon – Fri 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR MENTAL HEALTH, Gorakana - Residential Facility
No. 115/2, Galkanuwa Rd.
Gorakana, Panadura.
Sri Lanka
Tel +94 (0) 38 229 7702 / +94 (0) 38 229 7703
Fax +94 (0) 38 428 1640
Working Hours Hours : Mon – Fri 8.30 am to 5 pm


Bank of Ceylon


Ernst & Young,
Chartered Accountants,
201, De Saram Place,
Colombo 10.

26th September 2012

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Sri Lanka
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