Mental illness puts a huge amount of additional pressure on already struggling individuals and families. As a result of a complex combination of illness with a lack of access to care, treatment, understanding, support, resource and acceptance, those touched by mental illness are unable to maintain an acceptable standard of living. Some wander away from home, others are abandoned, divorced, abused or evicted causing the severity of their illness to deepen and taking them further away from the levels of care required to improve their lives.

How The Banyan helps

By providing the support and care that is lacking, both for the individual and their family.

The Community Mental Health Projects (CMHP), both urban and rural, provides a combination of treatment and awareness that aims to minimise some of the factors that exacerbate the problems. The facilities include:

  • Out patient services - To provide access to psychiatric care to those in need
  • Counselling services - For individuals and families to get to the root of their problems Integrated mental and general health care services in Kovalam - To encourage mental health care to be seen and used as much as general health care
  • Disability Allowance - Money given to those with mental illness to help reduce the financial burden of the illness on their family
  • Day Care Centre - Activity and employment opportunities for those with mental illness
  • Community awareness programmes - To sensitise the community to mental illness increasing acceptance and encouraging more people to access medical help

In addition to these community based prevention activities, The Banyan is also engaged in advocacy and wider educational activities through both The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) and CMHP. Through BALM, The Banyan has an opportunity to engage with more stakeholders including officials and policy makers who have the power to make much needed changes to the current State provided infrastructure. CMHP itself is a model for these policy makers and much of the advocacy undertaken by this project surrounds demonstrating, through action, the importance of change.