MINDS Foundation, India

Ishan Dhawan on November 21, 2018 in Health & Sanitation

India is a country where mental health isn’t taken seriously, a country where depression is considered to be a ‘state of mind’ that can be cured by merely thinking in a positive direction. India is a developing nation where we have the idea of having a psychologist completely misinterpreted by the general public. It is true though, that things are getting better as people getting more and more aware of mental health, at times, through their own kids, and at times through various organisations dedicated to create awareness about such a cause.

One such organisation that helps create awareness in a more challenging, rural environment is MINDS Foundation. With a beautiful hashtag, #mh4all, which means, Mental Health for All, MINDS Foundation works to primarily educate about mental health in rural areas. A very noble, and a very tough cause to serve, mental health for all is a not just the need of the hour, but a necessity for the world to not get to a state of chaos. MINDS Foundation works through a grass root approach wherein they create strong partnerships with local communities to work for the social cause. In conversation with Ms. Pragya Lodha, she gave us some further insights about the MINDS Foundation.

MINDS doesn’t directly provide healthcare, but it ensures that only the highest quality of healthcare is provided as it networks through the local clinics and has CMHW (Community Mental Health Workers) that are trained by them.

The MINDS Mumbai Operative head talked about the work in rural areas of Vadodara. The reports on the MINDS website clearly reflect the wonderful progress in work done in previous years and how an actual difference was made.

It is a part of basic anthropology that an infant, when born into an environment, naturally tends to accept and live the life that the surrounding environment offers. An infant, obviously has no values and is vulnerable to inculcation of various basic values of the low quality of life a rural area may offer. This gets the child to grow up into an adult who believes that there is no different quality of life and that there re no exits. The person will therefore, proceed to pass on the similar lifestyle and thus, we get stuck into a loop of degradation in rural areas. The initiatives taken by the organisation have resulted in progress and the results are surprising as the compliance rates have been much higher in rural areas as paternalistic values and mind-sets, even for the doctor-patient relationship are more prevalent.

MINDS Foundation strictly believes in primarily spreading awareness about how there is always an exit. Psychoeducation and mental awareness are treated as obvious first steps wherein people are taught about how they can talk about their emotional burdens or their mental states. The long term plan would be to lessen the effects of the causes of depression in the youth. Hence, a program to teach children about mental health in schools was started, teachers were trained by MINDS. As a result, roughly 1450 teachers have been trained, 250000 people have been provided access to cheap, high quality mental health care, whereas roughly 400 patients have been treated.

MNDS is a clear example of how much it takes to undertake the harder, the righter way. Initially, even the organisation was in doubt about how well the mental health gap could be bridged or if the acceptance will even grow or not. The journey to happiness is a hard one to set people on.

MINDS Foundation is appreciated and it’ll be a good experience to check their website out, look at their reports and the beautiful poetry and write-ups under the #mh4all section.

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