75% of mentally ill patients live in rural areas (villages), where access even to basic health care is difficult
“In India as per reports, 75% of mentally ill patients live in rural area, but when it comes to awareness and treatment, the graph goes down,” says David Abraham, Project Manager SHARE (Service for Health and Rural Education), Uttar Pradesh. In the small town of Bijnor, the stigma attached with mental illnesses are still extremely high, leading to patients being ostracised, domestic abuse, seeking non-medical help from healers and priests, with little or no information on mental health issues.
SHARE has been working on raising awareness on mental disorders and severe mental disorders since 2014, in Bijnor, and have so far facilitated treatments to over 2100 patients. They realised that the need of the patients was mostly unrecognised due to lack of education and stigma. However, as the communities started responding, SHARE’s team identified many problems, like schizophrenia (psychosis), depression, anxiety, epilepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorders which needed immediate medical intervention, a caregiver, follow-up treatments and counselling to the entire family.
It is estimated 70 million people have mental and behavioural disorders, and there is only 1 trained psychiatrist for every 300,000 people with a mental illness. To improve the understanding and care of these people, SHARE works with ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers, rural health care givers, by giving them basic understanding of identifying mental illnesses in people.
“We start our day by going from one house to another, explaining them about different kinds of mental illnesses, and also talking to the inmates of the house, to identify if there is any problem they are facing. At the end of the month, we also take these people to one of the biggest metal hospital in Uttar Pradesh for treatment, which is 150kms from Bijnor. Once they have got medications and treatment on the first visit, we start giving care-giving training to one of the members of the house,” says Sanjay Saini, field worker of SHARE.
“Ever since the COVID-19 lockdown, we have seen rising cases of depression in Bijnor, as most the families are daily wage earners. Counselling, family and community understanding of their problems play a very important role. It is a slow but evolving process,” says Kalawati, the Project Assistant.
Although the lockdown created mobility challenges, SHARE kept visiting people’s home in severe psychotic cases, whenever possible. “This shows that people are slowly understanding mental illnesses and there is a mind-set shift on de-stigmatisation, and the work needs to be carried on,” added David.
For the continuation of this campaign ‘Promotion of Mental Health’ trainings will be conducted for the field workers to raise awareness about the problems related to the mental illnesses, counselling, identification, referrals, treatments, follow-ups and create paths of recovery through community involvement.
Every contribution that you make will cover the treatment of the one patient, throughout the year, along with yearly visits to the hospital, counselling, medication which is provided by SHARE.
|Sl.no.||Description||No. of Beneficiary||Duration||Amount (INR)|
|1||Cost for Mental Health Awarness and counselling sessions of mentally ill person||100||12 months||960000|
|Total cost for the mental health program of 100 Mentally ill Person for a year||960000|
|Cost to support mental health program of a mentally ill Person for a year||9600|
The SHARE (Service for Health and Rural Education) Society was registered 01st June 1993 with the main aim of “HEALTH FOR ALL” people living in the remote villages of the Tehri Garhwal district of Himalayas. Their main emphasis has been to provide primary medical assistance and health education to the needy and suffering people. SHARE made a complete shift of its project...read more