About Us

'I exist therefore I am'

Every individual is truly special for the very fact that they exist - in spite of all of the odds. Each of these special lives deserves careful treatment and care to nurture it to fulfillment - from whatever background it was born into and whatever circumstances have impacted its development.

The Banyan began as a direct and heartfelt response to the visible gaps in care and attention for wandering women with mental health problems - in the eyes of society they simply did not 'exist' and there were no services to help them recover their lost lives. In the years since inception, The Banyan saw many more of these lost lives and designed the missing services to reach out to all.. providing the tools for a new life.

The philosophy is to help people find their own path to fulfillment - as everyone is unique and has individual needs, aspirations and capacities.

What is life like for the mentally ill in India?

When you have experienced being invisible, not heard and passed over, you develop a burning passion for being inclusive... because you know the costs of missed opportunities.

For those with mental illness that do not have access to care, homelessness is a reality.

  • A relative with mental illness means an extra mouth to feed for families already burdened by the effects of poverty.
  • A lack of education means that many do not understand mental illness and therefore do not know when, where or how to seek help.
  • Ignorance and misconceptions lead to a lack of acceptance within communities and discrimination from society and employment.
  • A lack of options mean that many of the mentally ill in India are left redundant at home, unstimulated and misunderstood, sometimes facing emotional and physical abuse from those that are caring for them; with this background it is no wonder that many wander away from home.

How does The Banyan see the future of the mentally ill in India? What does the changed face of mental health care look like? 'The inclusive approach has as its paradigm that the disabled are part of us, our family, our society, our community... and hearts, plans, budgets are large enough to include them'

The Banyan is working towards a vision of a society that accepts the mentally ill for who they are and finds a constructive place for them within its folds.

This is only possible if all elements of society are involved, aware and sensitized to the importance of dedicating resources to the care of the mentally ill and an effective model is put forward for care.

The Banyan undertakes all of these activities as part of its remit and has already made much headway in the establishment of models, the expansion of rehabilitation options, the development of a family support structure, the implementation of awareness campaigns and the networking and lobbying of relevant stakeholders to produce real policy change.

Our mission continues with your help...