Raxaul, Bihar India
Mrs. Nalini Khristi
Providing awareness and access to medical services for people with mental illness and helping community members to reduce alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
People with mental illness in north India face many barriers in their search for healing and wholeness. Psychiatrists are very scarce, community awareness is very limited, and general health care facilities are often reluctant or unable to offer appropriate care. Overall, stigma and discrimination remain powerful influences in the rural villages and towns.
The goal of the Roshni Project is that community members will have more
understanding about mental health issues and that people who have mental illnesses will be able to access appropriate health care. Toward this goal, the team identifies people living with mental illness in the surrounding area and help them to access medical treatment from the psychiatrist at Duncan Hospital. Ongoing education about the illness and its treatment are provided to ensure compliance with the treatment regime.
The project has developed local neighbourhood task forces, each with four women and four men, who receive education and training about mental illness and how to promote good mental health in their communities. These local task forces are able to help identify and refer patients to the hospital and also help to de-stigmatize mental illness in their local communities. The team also conducts programs to increase awareness about mental health issues among local health care providers, general community members and adolescent girls and boys.