MHI QUARTERLY UPDATE | OCT- DEC, 2020
This year's edition of ReFrame (2020), explored mental health beyond clinical contexts. Here’s a quick synopsis to help you navigate through this resource:
Articles in the first section 'Re-Vision', cover frameworks and constructs that can be used to grapple with the heritage of psy-disciplines. Talwar talks of using therapy to dismantle oppression, Joshi and Maneckshaw of queering therapy, Nair elaborates on the subversive possibilities of peer counseling, Jena examines the role of neoliberalism in MH, while Mathias et al outline resilience in rural mental health.
The second section ‘Contexts’, explores the counter-narratives that come from lived experiences, such as Chatterjee’s piece on native queer subcultures, Jadhav’s on song and customs as agents of MH in slums, and Khalid’s on the importance of vulnerability in rebuilding therapeutic spaces. The other pieces in this section inform about the power of poetry, palliative care, and mental health care centering the deaf community, or address issues around mental health in toxic workspaces, legal settings, and over phone lines.
What does challenging traditional mental health legacies look like in practice? The third section, ‘Engage’, brings on-ground examples: teachers in Darjeeling as agents of change; relooking at spaces of child and adolescent care in Sri Lanka; psychosocial support in drought-hit farming communities. On the other hand, Atal writes of looking at support beyond geographically defined community, while Chakraborty and Kaikobad speak of how body-based approaches to mental health may offer a powerful counter-narrative.
The Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) certificate course offered by MHI was conducted online for the first time this year — in partnership with organisations such as Pause for Perspective, Violet Hues and The Thought Co., along with MHI Partners - Kashmir Lifeline and iCALL.
57 mental health practitioners, 24 students, 5 members from the existing QACP cohort and 3 interns from MHI attended the course. Participants appreciated learning the practice of queering therapies as well as a being given a chance to develop their understanding on queer-trans lived experiences, trauma, stressors, and the need for queer-trans affirmative therapies, amongst other relevant topics.
“57 mental health practitioners, 24 students, 5 members from the existing QACP cohort and 3 interns from MHI attended the course.”
MHI's Chief Development Officer, Priti Sridhar, cohosted a discussion on Mental Health & Well-Being at Ashoka's Centre for Social Innovation and Philanthropy India Social Innovation Summit. The workshop addressed workplace mental health, inquiring into how an organisation’s culture might amplify or reduce stressors among employees. Download MHI's toolkit on promoting organisational well-being & mental health within the non-profit sector.
MHI partnered with a new organisation this quarter: WAYVE FOUNDATION - that does tremendous work in the mental health space, serving marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Working to address the structural violence and trauma faced by young people and women from marginalized backgrounds such as Dalit, Adivasi, and Muslim communities, WAYVE Foundation strives to empower youth and women from communities by developing grassroots leadership. Approaching community support as the agent of change, WAYVE Foundation trains and mentors community leaders on a number of issues concerning their fundamental and constitutional rights, rights related to education, economic participation, mental health, and more. MHI partners with WAYVE to support a year-long leadership training program with young women grassroots leaders and survivors from Dalit, Adivasi, and Muslim communities in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Gujarat.
The struggle for the right to education is necessarily an anti-caste struggle. MHI intern Vandana Jogadiya writes on the interplay of caste and mental health through reflections and personal anecdotes from her own childhood experiences in educational settings.
MHI Director Raj Mariwala, writes for Live Mint on human companion animal relationships during COVID — providing insights into the mental health and behavioural health concerns of pets & their humans.