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WHO ARE WE?

We are group of mental health and IT professionals on a mission. India has about 7000 mental health professionals in all (which includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and psychiatric nurses), while the actual need is that of 55000 mental health professionals.

A few likeminded psychiatrists from different parts of India felt the need to address this shortage of mental health services and decided to start working with adolescents, young adults, parents and teachers.

We also have excellent IT professionals on board who believe in this cause and are interested in helping us with the technical side of things.

WHAT DO WE DO?

Our goals are:

De-stigmatize

To de-stigmatize mental illness

Engage

To engage with young adults, parents and teachers on the topic of mental health and open a discussion about it.

Awareness

To create more awareness about common and severe mental disorders

Stop Suicide

To work specifically on suicide prevention among youth

OUR STRATEGY

We plan to achieve our goals by doing the following

Community awareness

  • School awareness programs – trained mental health workers will conduct awareness sessions at schools and colleges to improve the awareness among youth
  • Media (both print and electronic) outreach – information handouts, interviews of experts, blogs of survivors, experience of family members will be published in print and electronic media

These awareness campaigns are aimed at informing about mental health problems in youth, specifically those of depression, suicidality and substance abuse.

Life skills training to youth

WHO has defined life skills as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”.

We plan to conduct life skills training programs for youth as well as teachers and parents for the purpose of wider dissemination.

Training Gate keepers

School counselors/ teachers/ peers have the potential to serve as gate keepers to identify those at risk of suicide. We intend to conduct workshops for those of them interested in this program to train them to be gatekeepers. In addition, schools and colleges shall be encouraged to designate gatekeepers to identify youngsters at risk for suicide.

Training General practitioners

Considering the shortage of psychiatrists in the country, general practitioners will be trained to pick up common symptoms and signs of depression, anxiety and substance use. They will also be trained in assessment of suicidality and sensitized about the first line of intervention.

Research and policy making

In the future, we intend to study the implementation and success of our strategies which we hope shall provide vital information about what really works in helping the youth with their mental health and preventing suicide, so that the program can be improved upon and be implemented more widely.