Community mental health and NGO engagement: the Kerala experience

Venkateswaran, Chitra, Jose, Sonny, and Francis, Abraham P. (2014) Community mental health and NGO engagement: the Kerala experience. In: Francis, Abraham P., (ed.) Social Work in Mental Health: areas of practice, challenges and way forward. SAGE Publications, New Delhi, India, pp. 276-300.

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[Extract] Mental and neurological disorders affect nearly 13 per cent of the world population. In fact, one out of every four people around the globe experience a mental illness that warrants diagnosis and treatment. Mental disorders cause considerable burden on individuals, families and societies. Human, social and financial resources are needed to provide access to effective and humane treatment for people with mental disorders. Mental health and mental illness is a part of every country, culture, age group and socio-economic status.

In India, around 6 per cent of 1.21 billion population are reportedly affected by varying mental problems. The disparity between the number of mentally ill, treatment facilities and trained professionals result in a large 'treatment gap' in the community. Community mental health programmes are essential to address this gap, to reach out to a major percentage of people who live with little access to good care, especially those economically deprived. Establishment of autonomous organisations to provide accountable and evidence-based good-quality care and development of appropriately trained human resources has been suggested as one of the methods to improve mental health care. This chapter illustrates the case of Mehac Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), as an earnest initiative to integrate community and key persons into community mental health as an initiative to provide quality mental health care.

Item ID: 34448
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-81-321-1740-7
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 06:11
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160701 Clinical Social Work Practice @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 40%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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