Collaborating with others to bridge the mental health care gap
Therefore, together with University of Edinburgh, we worked to bring mental health organizations, funders, academicians and activists to a common platform to share innovations, practices and experiences across the sector and between regions. We believe that this platform will enable building a Community of Practice for community mental health in India allowing for synthesis and sharing of diverse forms of evidence across language divides.
Additionally, this year, we worked in partnership with several state governments — facilitating implementation of the Mental Health Care Act by building capacity among varied stakeholders to provide mental healthcare services and leverage technology to undertake service delivery. We also realize that given how underfunded mental health care is, we must leverage our position as a recognized funder to bring other funders to the sector.
To drive more funding towards mental health, we networked with other funders, presented mental health as a development issue to international funding forums and developed a mental health toolkit. These collaborative efforts will enable us to effectively scale mental health services across the country and bridge the mental health care gap.
Community of Practice
MHI along with University of Edinburgh facilitated the first round of consultations towards building a Community of Practice for community mental health in India. Over 18 mental health organizations, funders, academicians and activists attended this preliminary discussion. Research indicates that although NGOs in India deliver innovative and contextualized community mental health (CMH) programmes addressing recovery and social inclusion, there are few mechanisms to share innovations, practices and experiences across the sector and between regions.
MHI is partnering with state governments across the country in an attempt to facilitate effective implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act (2017). This support extends to enabling state governments to create policies and systems for implementation of the Act, build capacity among varied stakeholders to provide mental healthcare services and leverage technology to undertake service delivery. Specifically, MHI is working with the Bihar State Government to train three different audiences within the government’s machinery—(i) members of the State Mental Health Authority, (ii) health professionals within the District Mental Health Program and (iii) mental health professionals at the public school and community level—to deliver better mental health services and implement provisions under the Act.
As the only Indian funder in Mental Health, MHI uses various forums to actively pursue the goal of directing more attention and funding towards the mental health sector. This year, MHI addressed a closed-door gathering of the country's top 100 philanthropists, exploring mental health for the first time ever — where MHI presented mental health as a development issue for the opening session. As a result of its work in the sector, MHI received the HURUN award for outstanding work in philanthropy for mental health. MHI also constantly interacts with organizations through their CSR funding and also with philanthropic organizations to support mental health.
“If we want to influence social change, we must work in tandem with others. At MHI, we support and build on the efforts of others including the government, mental health activists and funding organizations —to achieve maximum impact and outreach”