Research is one of the major activities of SCARF. It is done intramurally and in collaboration with national and international organizations.

The main areas of research have been:

  • Phenomenology, Course and Outcome of Schizophrenia
  • Disability in Mental disorders
  • Untreated Psychosis
  • Families in Schizophrenia
  • Abnormal movements
  • Community Mental Health
  • Drug trials in Schizophrenia
  • Stigma and attitudes to Mental illnesses
  • MRI and Genetic studies

Research Instruments:

We have developed a number of research instruments which are extensively used to measure disability, family burden, social functioning and rehabilitation needs.

They are :

  1. Schedule for Assessment of Psychiatric Disability (SAPD)
  2. SCARF Social Functioning Index (SSFI)
  3. Burden Assessment Schedule of SCARF (BASS)

SCARF has been involved in several studies conducted by the World Health Organisation.
SCARF is one of the few NGOs  in mental health which have been recognized as a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organisation for Mental Health Research  and Training.

We have:

  • Completed over 70 research projects – national and international
  • Published over 200 scientific papers in national and international  peer reviewed journals.
  • Organized  international and  national conferences, the most notable being the International Conference of Schizophrenia (IConS).
  • Brought out books and training manuals.
  • Trained several students in research methodology
  • SCARF is a popular centre for students of psychology and social work to pursue their research interests.
  • Centre for DNB in psychiatry
  • Centre for Ph.D studies under the Tamil Nadu Dr.MGR Medical University
SCARF’s collaborating partners in Mental Health Research Programmes
  • 10/66 Dementia Research Network
  • AIIMS, New Delhi, India
  • Asha Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
  • Athma Hospital & Research Centre, Trichy, India
  • Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
  • Chengelpet Medical College, Chengelpet, India Nirmitee , Satara, India
  • Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Chennai Medical College & INDIACLEN
  • Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries, Scotland
  • Depart of Genetics, Dr. ALM. PG. Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, India
  • Douglas Hospital, McGill University, Canada
  • HelpAge India and Family Welfare, Govt. of India
  • Indian Council of Medical Research
  • Indian Council of Social Science Research
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, UK
  • Int. Development Research Centre ,Canada
  • Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
  • MV Diabetes Research Institute, Chennai, India
  • National Commission for Women, New Delhi.
  • NIMHANS, Bangalore,
  • NMHP, Ministry of Health Sciences, New Delhi.
  • Oxfam India
  • Parivarthan, Satara, India
  • Plan International, India
  • Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Australia
  • Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Youth development, Sreeperambadur, India
  • Sangath, Goa. India
  • Sneha (suicide prevention), Chennai, India
  • Stanford University, USA
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai, India Tata Education Trust
  • University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • University of West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Vazhikathe Mental health centre, Coimbatore, India
  • World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR)
  • World Psychiatric Association
  • World Health Organization, Geneva:  WHO SEARO, New Delhi.

SCARF is one of the centres which offers block placement and training for students of Social work, psychology, Occupational therapy and Nursing. The students are exposed topractical programmes of treatment and rehabilitation of the chronic mentally ill apart from theory classes. All this is for a nominal fee.

A number of students from outside India have also trained here for varying periods of time.

We have also trained Primary Care physicians, multi-purpose workers and health workers in both urban and rural areas to enable early detection.

As part of our collaboration with the Disability Commissioner, Govt. of Tamil nadu , we have been training several groups of professionals including doctors, PHC personnel, nurses, staff of NGOs and teachers.


Eminent neuroscientist Dr.V.Ramachandran from the USA delivering a lecture at SCARF

Burden Assessment Schedule of SCARF