The first woman psychiatrist in the country, she is passionate about rehabilitation. She held the post of the Superintendent of the Institute of Mental Health, Chennai for over 18 years. After her retirement, she founded SCARF and the family-based organization AASHA. She was largely instrumental in getting the annual grant from the State Government and the land to construct the daycare center. Dr.Sarada Menon stepped down from the post of Director in 1995, making way for Dr.Thara, the present Vice Chairman. Dr. Sarada Menon is the recipient of many awards including the Padma Bhushan awarded by the President of India.