NGOs initiates to reintegrate mental patients with society
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 18-Sep-2017
Chennai, September 18: In India, almost 15 crore individuals are estimated to have mental health issues and the 10% gets the treatment. To reintegrate these people with their families and society, the Chennai based NGO The Banyan has launched BALMSFL located at the Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health on September 17.

 
Co-founder of The Banyan Vandana Gopikumar said that there is a lot of knowledge and rhetoric about the treatment gap. But now we need to bridge the know-do gap using practice-based evidence. Persistent mental ill health could have multi-dimensional negative consequences ranging from diminished participation in the workforce or social life to poor physical health, she adds.
With the collaboration of Sundaram Fasteners Ltd (SFL), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), BALM and The Banyan has launched BALMSFL centre for Social Action and Research in Mental Health.
 Director of TISS S Parasuraman said that TISS has been working with The Banyan to strengthen personnel working in the field of mental health. He further added that we are going to be working on setting up such service centres like the one being launched for women and people with mental health issues in four states ­ Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Assam. TISS will be the knowledge partner for research, training and policy advocacy, adding that they will be networking with other institutions and agencies in those states.
 According to BALM, The Banyan and the Ratan Tata Trust collaborate every month to provide an amount of Rs. 250 disability allowance to over 400 families suffering from mental illness which benefits the families of patients to sustain care and reduces the financial burden of a family member with mental illness.
Health secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan expressed the need for the government to partner with such centres. He said Tamil Nadu is the only state which has mental health units in all the districts but still there are many challenges to be faced. We are looking at initially expanding and creating facilities in five districts such as Theni, Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram so that people needn't travel all the way to Chennai for treatment.
According to the World Health Organisation report on depression, almost 7.5% of Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders that require expert intervention. India, for instance, has less than 4,000 psychiatrists to treat its mentally ill people.