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Capacity building with Co-ordinated Care

 The mission is to expand the capacity to provide best practice care for Addiction & Mental health among health care professionals 

2014 onwards ECHOs

NIMHANS  Bangalore has always been in the forefront of human resource training in mental health and substance use. However, we realized more than a decade ago that face to face training is expensive and its reach across the country is limited. The glaring “treatment gap” of  > 75% (mhGAP, WHO) spurred us to look for innovative cost-effective methods to expand our reach. The advent of digital technology and engagement with the Project ECHO (Extension of Community Healthcare Outcome) ( has enabled the NIMHANS to innovate and exponentially increase workforce training and simultaneously reach hundreds of health care professionals/providers to provide best-practices mental health care and reduce health disparities in the community.
Since 2014, NIMHANS has piloted a “Virtual Knowledge Network” (VKN) with the mission of  providing quality care in mental health by Collaborative learning and capacity building by using digital technology. Thus the people get the care they need, where they live, by people they know and trust.
The Virtual Knowledge Network (VKN) ECHO model  ( has been using HUB and SPOKEs knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams of NIMHANS who use multi-point videoconferencing to conduct virtual sessions with community providers. The focus of  this weekly session/clinic is on “case based learning to understand the complexities”, “following best-practices like algorithms, guidelines along with clinical wisdom for knowledge diffusion”, “using technology to leverage scarce resources” and “ web based monitoring for the outcomes”. This live virtual session is accessible through smartphones (3Gor 4G), tablets as well as toll free numbers across the country. (Chand et al. 2014)
These live sessions are linked to a mobile e-learning certification through which learners can access the learning materials as well as relevant questions anytime and anywhere. NIMHANS provides accreditation for the learners who have completed this blended learning ( virtual + e-learning). In this way, remote primary care doctors, nurses, counsellors and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities.Virtual Knowledge Network  has created huge synergies between academicians and health care practitioners in implementing “best practices”

Join the initiative 



  • Practical Skill enhancement
  • Learning by doing (co-management)
  • Professional interaction with multidisciplinary colleagues
  • Affiliation with an academic tertiary centre, less isolation
  • Free, effortless, interactive, access to the up-to-date knowledge, videos

Patients and Community

  • People need access to QUALITY care for their complex mental health conditions
  • NOT enough health professionals to treat or provide the care
  • NIMHANS ECHO trains the health professionals ( NIMHANS ECHO spokes) across country
  •  NIMHANS spokes are well trained and capable of providing care as good as NIMHANS
  • NIMHANS ECHO spokes are being tele-mentored which in turn increase their skills and knowledge to provide best care
  • Patient gets right care, in the right place, at the right time.
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Welcome to VKN NIMHANS ECHO Portal, Kindly mail
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