The Kashmir context is one of marginalization and conflict, and resultant astronomical mental health concerns. Some studies even claim that 45% of the population in the valley faces significant mental health issues. Access to mental health services is severely impacted due a variety of concerns related to the sociopolitical climate unique to the Valley, and impacted infrastructure across sectors including health.
However, most of the research on mental health coming out of Kashmir is from foreign bodies or those without the lived experience of the realities in the region. The mental health research that does take place, is also largely focused on diagnostic criteria, or mapping the extent of people in need of care. Consequently, there is a gap in literature regarding the availability, accessibility, and quality of care provided. A mapping of both quality (i.e. psychosocial, intersectoral) and accessibility of mental health services is necessary to demonstrate the extent of the problem on a systemic level, and on that basis, to make recommendations towards a more robust mental health service infrastructure in the region.
Project Sahyog will be a 1-year collaborative study across mental health stakeholders in Kashmir such as practitioners, service providers, policy-makers, and community members to (1)document the state of public and private mental healthcare systems in Kashmir through a mapping of service providers, and (2) develop a framework on rights-based mental health work in Kashmir, including context-specific indicators for rights-based care.