Deadline to link Aadhaar number with PAN extended to March 31: The government said it was pushing the last date as some taxpayers had not completed the process yet.
Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to meet him in Pakistan on December 25: India and Pakistan have been in talks to arrange the meeting for weeks now.
BJP is disrespecting people by not releasing its manifesto for Gujarat elections, says Rahul Gandhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party said its manifesto was ready but was still being fine-tuned.
Kannada journalist Ravi Belagere arrested for allegedly plotting to kill former colleague: The officials from the Central Crime Brach seized revolver and bullets from his home.
The assailants should be hanged, says family of labourer hacked to death in Rajasthan: Rights groups accused the chief minister and home minister of shielding those attacking Muslims in the state and called for them to resign.
Protests held in Srinagar against US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli Capital: The agitators shouted ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ in parts of Srinagar.
Delhi women’s commission volunteer allegedly beaten up, stripped for helping bust liquor racket: The police deny that the 33-year-old was stripped, and claimed her clothes were torn in a scuffle with the accused.
Mallya offered to pay back 80% of principal loan amount but banks rejected it, claims defence: Citing a lavish party the businessman had thrown, the prosecution said banks may have rejected his offer as they knew he could repay the full amount.
Delhi’s air quality improves to ‘moderate’ for the first time in two months: The air quality index had stayed ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ every day since early October.
Posters asking Muslims to vote for the Congress turn up in Surat, party calls it BJP’s mischief: The posters asked Muslims to ensure that Ahmed Patel becomes the CM to ‘maintain unity’, but the Congress said this was the BJP polarising the elections.
Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India
Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.
Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.
According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.
On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.
During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Otherpatients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years agowas the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.
The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.
The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.
As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.