5 NGOs tackling mental health issues in India

Every Indian has the right to mental healthcare. However, India’s mental health infrastructure is not adequate.

The 2016 National Mental Health Survey of the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) found that India has hardly one psychiatrist for every 100,000 people. This is a remarkable number considering that mental illness accounts for nearly one-sixth of all the health-related disorders in India. This is mainly due to a shortage of expertise and resources in the field. Mental health has been neglected for many decades. This is compounded by a low literacy rate, traditional beliefs and religious views, and a lack of awareness. India’s urban centers and southern states have the majority of mental health specialists. There is a large ‘treatment gap,’ especially in rural areas. The Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbated the problem.

People with mental illnesses are often reluctant to seek treatment, especially those from disadvantaged communities. To help those in need, NGOs are providing mental healthcare to assist with the rising cost of treatment. These are 10 non-profits that reach out to people with mental disorders.

Mindroot Foundation

Mindroot Foundation was established in Jaipur (Rajasthan) in 2016. It combats mental illness and substance abuse. The foundation aims to raise awareness and end stigma. This organization believes that anyone with mental disorders should feel comfortable talking about them without fear.

Mindroot organizes seminars, workshops, and other events regularly to inform people about the importance mental well-being. There are many focus groups, including those for school children, village residents, and bank professionals. They receive the training they need to improve their mental health and quality of life. It offers a forum for those with mental disorders to share their stories, and provides effective strategies for dealing with them.

mindroot foundation

MINDS Foundation

This Telangana-based nonprofit uses a grassroots approach in order to remove stigma associated with mental disorders. It provides educational, medical and moral support to patients, particularly those living in rural areas.

Minds Foundation is committed to providing mental health education for youth. It covers topics like OCD, depression and anxiety, suicide, self-image and eating disorders, internet addiction, substance abuse, cyber-bullying and other forms of online bullying. They also offer health education classes to parents and teachers.

The Minds Foundation is a large network made up of social workers that organize camps in rural areas for people with mental disorders.

LonePack

LonePack was founded in 2016 by a group young engineers to raise awareness and combat mental illness among Indian youth. The NGO’s mission, to dispel the stigma surrounding mental disorders and open a dialogue about them in a safe and inclusive setting, is to create awareness and combat stigma.

To raise awareness about mental health, the NGO organizes workshops, campaigns and events in schools, colleges, and corporations. It reached over 40,000 people in the last two years. LonePack Buddy is an anonymous peer-to–peer support program that allows people to freely talk about their mental health issues. LonePack’s motto says “Make mental health accessible for all.”

The Banyan

The Banyan is a Chennai-based charity that provides support for homeless people and those with mental health problems in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. These services include hospital-based and rural housing, as well as community and clinic-based mental healthcare solutions.

The Banyan is focused on social justice transformation and ensures that people who are homeless with mental illnesses can return to their families, re-enter the workforce, and live lives they choose. It sponsors psychiatrists and doctors for patients in its homes. The Banyan has both urban and rural clinics that rescue and serve mentally disabled patients.

DoctorsForSeva Arogya Foundation (Aarogya Seva)

Seva, a Sanskrit term that means “selfless service”, is the goal of this nonprofit. Aarogya Seva aims to provide quality healthcare services to different segments of society via micro-volunteering.

This NGO is a platform that allows all sectors of healthcare – private and public – to come together and serve patients from marginalized communities in the country. Aarogya Seva reached more than 100,000 beneficiaries to date and hopes to reach one million people in the next two-years with its army of 25,000.

The ‘Mental Health Initiative’ of the organization is a holistic approach to raising awareness about mental-related issues. It also offers medical support.

arogya seva foundation

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