Celebrating our Silver Jubilee
Over the years, hundreds of individuals from a variety of fields and walks of life have partnered with, volunteered with and supported The Banyan – and this event stood as an occasion to thank our donors, patrons and supporters.
The celebration, attended by over 300 individuals, was MCed by Ranvir Shah, Founder-Trustee of the Prakriti Foundation along with Revathy, renowned Tamil actress – both of whom are long time supporters and friends of The Banyan. They both shared anecdotes about their engagement with our organisation, and spoke about the importance of speaking up about mental health issues in public spheres.
The HCL Foundation & The Banyan
The Banyan has maintained a partnership with the HCL Foundation for the past 6 years. Due to their support, The Banyan has been able to initiate and maintain innovative projects across both urban and rural sites in Tamil Nadu. This partnership has been one of mutual learning, cemented by a sense of urgency to respond to the needs of the most marginalised. HCL Foundation’s staff and volunteers have become an integral part of The Banyan family, and we hope it stays that way for many more years to come!
Woman from Kolar reunited with family after nine years
Despite running away from home, Vijaya’s desperation to return home, to her children, even after all these years was evident to the social workers. “When a few of us from The Banyan visited her on Friday, we realised how desperate she was. After speaking to her, we immediately got in touch with police personnel in KGF, Kolar, who went to her house and helped us trace the family.”
Community Mental Health in Kerala
The Banyan has always focused on providing comprehensive mental health solutions for marginalised populations, and for the past decade, addressing social causation of mental illness has been one of our main priorities. So when we were contacted by OWT to form a partnership through which we could collaboratively offer outpatient mental health services – we jumped at the offer.
Through a collaboration with OWT and The Mehac Foundation (an organisation that has provided community mental health services for those who have limited access to healthcare), we have now been offering outpatient clinics and home based care for individuals who are experiencing multidimensional and complex difficulties due to mental illness and poverty.
The Banyan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Government of Kerala, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Kerala, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and The Hans Foundation to begin a programme that will facilitate exit options out of institutionalised care for persons with mental health issues.
The programme will first identify individuals that are well and ready to return home but are unable to do so due to resource deficits or the absence of home or families to return to, and then identify individuals who have accessed all the care they can and still live with residual symptoms. These individuals will then be offered a range of inclusive living options, which are graded levels of supportive services to live long-term. This will be a replication of the Home Again approach created by The Banyan.
Splash of Colour
On March 1st, led by long-time volunteer of The Banyan and world renowned photographer, Christoph Von Toggenburg, we began the #JoyfulBanyan Project.
Mr. Christoph Von Toggenburg led several discussions with staff, students of The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) and residents of The Banyan on what helps them feel more at home and comfortable in a mental health centre.
We reimagined our reception space with bright colours and warm lighting. The students embellished the space with illustrations of nature: radiant birds and lush trees.
Award in Global Women's Health
Co-Founder and Managing Trustee of The Banyan, Dr. Vandana Gopikumar has been chosen to receive the prestigious Penn Nursing Renfield Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health.
Congratulations Dr. Gopikumar!
Love For Service Award
Director of The Banyan, Dr. KV Kishore Kumar is the recipient of the 2018 Renny Abraham Tanker Foundation Love for Service Award
Congratulations Dr. Kishore!