Basic Needs India: Promoting Mental Health and Development


Basic Needs India

Projects with MHI

“Strengthening Community-Based Integrative Care of Persons with Mental Illness and their Families in Odisha and Maharashtra”

Basic Needs India works to bridge the gap between the government and communities by strengthening community mental health services. BNI’s model is to work through existing, grassroots, community-based organizations and build their capacity to identify and address the needs of those living with mental illnesses, as well as build community support for those with psychosocial disabilities. MHI funds BNI’s work spanning five districts across Odisha and Maharashtra — with a focus on strengthening community-based integrative care of persons with mental Illness and their families. Through the program identified persons living with a mental illness will have access to Government-provided Mental Health Care and will be reintegrated with their families and community. BNI will also work to enhance community awareness and strengthen community support systems, through training programs for partner organizations, mental health volunteers, alternate service providers and public health para-professionals. The organization will offer psychoeducation to families, as well as promote family support groups to demand for government services and entitlements from available schemes. BNI will also link with disability and health movements at the local and State level, sensitize media, police and judiciary on destigmatization.

"Fostering Resiliance in Disaster-Affected Districts of Odisha"

Despite evidence of the impact that disasters have on mental health, disaster response approaches traditionally have not included mental health services. Disaster preparedness and response activities focus solely on immediate humanitarian needs such as protection, water, sanitation, shelter, food and health. Consequently, although disaster-related distress is highly prevalent in affected communities, those experiencing such distress usually have no recourse. Fostering a community’s ability to manage distress using its own resources and sources is a sustainable, holistic, long term approach. Disaster-response initiatives can foster resilience by tapping the knowledge, skills, resources and insight of community members themselves. Having decades of experience implementing community-based mental health programs  in some of the disaster-affected districts of Odisha, BNI planned a psychosocial intervention in six of the most affected blocks of Odisha in coordination with its partner organizations (YCDA and USS).  BNI’s approach works both to sensitize government functionaries as well as leverage community volunteers to address the psychosocial needs of affected communities. BNI's partner organizations will coordinate this psychosocial intervention involving the community members in direct implementation so that after one year, when the project is phased-out, these communities will not be affected and the intervention will remain sustainable and will infact have built resilience and strength.

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