MHI QUARTERLY UPDATE | JULY - SEPT, 2020
In India’s criminal justice system it is challenging to negotiate for survivors and victims of crime. The system may not only compound a survivors distress but also fail to deliver on the other rehabilitation needs of survivors and victims, DISHA advocates with the government to activate and provide access to compensation schemes and other welfare schemes earmarked for such cases. Additionally, DISHA provides psychosocial aid and facilitates access to entitlements for survivors and victims of violent crimes such as rape, murder, attempted murder or serious injuries resulting in permanent disabilities and violence against women, children and elderly. DISHA works directly with these survivors and victims to provide legal aid, psychological counselling, financial assistance — through their social workers and by leveraging existing supportive mechanisms such as Bharosa Cell, District Trauma Committee and One Stop Crisis Center.
“MHI partnered with new organisations this quarter: DISHA & ISWAR SANKALPA that are doing tremendous work in the mental health space and serving marginalized and vulnerable communities”
Iswar Sankalpa primarily serves persons who are living on the streets through community-based interventions in low-resource, marginalised urban communities of Kolkata. As psychosocial disabilities both lead to and are exacerbated by homelessness, Iswar Sankalpa implements an Urban Mental Health Program to reduce stigma, enhance access to mental health services and build community and support networks. In addition to these preventive measures, the organisation focuses on the integration and inclusion of homeless persons with psychosocial disabilities through community outreach work, shelters, livelihood training and family/community sensitisation programs.
There are many conversations around mental health at corporate workspaces but very few discuss the role of upper management or the leaders — in making workspaces safe. This raises some important questions; how does the mental health of an entrepreneur cascade down to their employees? How does it affect the way business is conducted?
Our research study on 'The Mental Health of Entrepreneurs' discusses the importance of not just employee well-being, but also that of leaders of business enterprises. Results call attention to the unidimensional narrative of entrepreneurs as visionaries, innovators, leaders, and risk-takers — that leaves little room to discuss vulnerability or failure. From the emerging model, and findings of this study, we hope that mental health of entrepreneurs, as well as mental health at the workplace, can be viewed and addressed systemically and organisationally, by all affected and all involved. This is all the more critical because mental health at the workplace has to start from the top.
YOUTH CARE NETWORKS
In light of the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of youth— MHI is partnering with The YP Foundation to create a 'Youth Care Network' comprising a cadre of youth trained in providing peer support and psychosocial services, facilitating linkages between their networks and the health care system as well as advocating for mental health services for youth and adolescents.
MHI partnered with Snapchat to make mental health resources available for Snap users through their tool 'Here For You', which is part of Snapchat's built-in search feature. MHI video resources serve up in-app support to Snapchatters who may be experiencing emotional or mental distress. These resources can also be used by anyone wanting to learn more about mental health-related issues and to help loved ones dealing with them.
The Borgen Project spoke with Raj Mariwala, Director of MHI, for insights into the organisation’s current efforts to improve women’s mental health in India.