Institute of Mental Health is involved in Mental Health care for the past 206 Years. Founded in 1794 as an asylum to manage 20 patients, it has grown into an Institute with bed strength of 1800 patients. Between 1807-1815 it came to be called as Dalton Mad Hospital. In 1867 January 7th a Lunatic Asylum was opened and named Lococks Garden. In 1922 it became Govt. mental Hospital. From 1948 the census has gone up and official bed strength was regularized at 1800. It is no more an asylum for custodial care but a place for enhancing mental health and a training centre for mental health professionals.. The Govt. Mental Hospital was renamed as Institute of Mental Health in the year 1978. This is the teaching Institution attached to madras medical College, Chennai .Today Institute of Mental Health is the second largest Institute in India offering mental health services to a massive population of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The Institute of Mental Health is a state run mental hospital under the administrative control of Director of Medical Education. It is one of the affiliated institutions for Madras Medical College.
Administration at the Institute is headed by the Director who is the usually the senior most psychiatrist in the Tamil Nadu Medical Service. Deputy Superintendent and Resident Medical Officer, Help the Director in his administration. A posse of 60 ministerial staff with Administrative Officer attends to the day-to-day administration of the hospital.