MHI QUARTERLY UPDATE | APRIL - JUNE, 2020
MHI's COVID RESPONSE
We believe that mental health is a development issue and that psychosocial distress is related to structural oppression. Therefore, a COVID-response related to food, shelter, medicine & survival for marginalised communities fell within our ambit. We reached out to marginalized communities listed in this graphic. The current health crisis disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. We funded 23 grassroots, community-based organizations and collectives. Efforts have been deployed in 18 states and counting. We're so grateful to community-based organisations and their labour in light of COVID — an issue of public health, human rights & social justice.
In the wake of recent deaths by suicide of queer-trans persons on account of unacceptable practices in psychiatric disciplines, our Chief Advisor Shruti Chakravarty called on the mental health community to stop conversion treatment and uphold rights of LGBTQI+ persons. In her video and petition, Shruti urges mental health practitioners to make statements against conversion treatments that took the life of Anjana Harish.
“In celebration of Pride Month - we created a resource page carries videos, podcasts, articles, resource links created by the members of the QACP cohort: https://mhi.org.in/qacp/”
MHI Director, Raj Mariwala, was recently elected to the UGMH Blueprint Group (BPG) Advisory Board. BPG is a global joint advocacy, communications and learning coalition consisting of over 590 representatives of governments, international organisations, NGOs, academia and the private sector. The group was formed to encourage greater global collaboration on mental health advocacy, communications and learning.MHI Director, Raj Mariwala, was recently elected to the UGMH Blueprint Group (BPG) Advisory Board. BPG is a global joint advocacy, communications and learning coalition consisting of over 590 representatives of governments, international organisations, NGOs, academia and the private sector. The group was formed to encourage greater global collaboration on mental health advocacy, communications and learning.
Despite lockdown restrictions, MHI partnered with two new organizations this quarter that are doing tremendous work in the mental health space: Kashmir Lifeline and Shivar Foundation
Our partner Basic Needs India published an important handbook intended to guide volunteers to better understand and service migrant labourers displaced on account of the nation-wide lockdown and forced to inhabit State/volunteer-run temporary shelters. The handbook explains the level of distress that displaced migrant workers are currently experiencing and how volunteers can work in solidarity with those most vulnerable and affected. This is available for free download
We also funded two online courses for community health workers organized by our partner Project Burans
Staying safe - Protection from COVID -19 / सुरक्षित रहे - कोविड-19 से बचें. Three modules that give health workers skills to keep themselves safe and increase awareness in their communities.
Naya Maarg - Skills for coping with COVID-19 / नया मार्ग - कोविड-19 का सामना करने के लिए कौशल. Six modules to strengthen mental health, coping and resilience for health workers and the communities where they work.
These courses are available in both English and simple Hindi.
A resource guide that discusses the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, lists methods of identifying and dealing with stress and anxiety, and concludes with types of self-care and mindfulness/grounding exercises to enhance mental well-being.
MHI Director, Raj Mariwala spoke to Forbes India on COVID-related mental distress, particularly the impact on entrepreneurs.
Hindustan Times wrote about MHI's Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice training program for mental health professionals and other efforts to build an affirmative society that is respectful of individual choice.
MHI Director and CDO wrote for India Development Review on how other funders can actively support the well-being of their partner organisations and create systems and structures that enhance their partners' mental and physical health.
The Caravan wrote about the impact of the COVID-lockdown on queer-trans persons, forcing them to live in environments where they are repressed and emotionally captive.