With the lockdown being implemented for more than a year now, many people have lost their loved
ones, jobs, and obviously, along with it, their mental peace. While many of these individuals have
consulted therapists to deal with mental stress, many people continue to live with it because of the high
prices charged by psychiatrists and other mental health specialists.
The lack of treatment facilities and psychology professionals in the government sector has increased the
mental health care gap. Non-governmental health organizations (NGOs) have, however, played an
important role in not just bridging this gap, but also in developing low-cost replicable models of care.
Stress, anxiety, depression are not the only psychological issues prevalent in society, there’s a whole
range of mental conditions and disorders that require proper treatment and care.
NGOs work towards a variety of causes including the improvement of mental health of children as well
as adults, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, dementia, and so on.
Treatment, community care, research, rehabilitation, etc. are all a part of their efforts.
The pointers mentioned below highlight the activities undertaken by NGOs towards the improvement of
the mental well-being of people.
Care and rehabilitation
Despite the significant challenges faced while developing mental health programmes, it is comforting to
note that the accomplishments of many mental health non-government organizations are distributed
throughout the country. But there are a greater number of such NGOs in urban areas as compared to
the rural regions. This makes getting quality mental health treatment a struggle for a lot of people.
However, many non-governmental health organizations are now also reaching out to the people living
in the rural areas and providing them with equal care and treatment facilities.
Treatment and rehabilitation are some of the most important objectives for many MHNGOs (Mental
Health NGOs), because of the largely unmet needs of the communities they intend to serve. While most
organizations that are run by the state, emphasize on medical therapy and psycho-social rehabilitation
(PSR) are underutilized but important components of MHNGO programmes. However, the lack of
qualified personnel to carry out PSR activities has kept it out of conventional psychiatric care. As a result,
several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have taken it upon themselves to create PSR modules in
both urban and rural regions. Individual and group counselling, vocational rehabilitation and livelihood
skills training, cognitive retraining, family support and counselling, self-help groups, recreation and
leisure activities are all part of the programmes.
Prevention and Community Programmes
NGOs have launched various community based mental health initiatives that focus on services in a
variety of community settings, including home-based care, and provide a variety of PSR activities. These
initiatives vary from basic preventive efforts like suicide prevention through community clinic therapy,
raising awareness, and offering community-based rehabilitation. NGOs conduct campaigns and various
events that make them better positioned to approach and gain the trust of local people, and build
relationships with them. Many NGOs even have telephone support lines that help individuals with
depression and suicidal tendencies.
Secondary prevention aims to reduce the inherent problems associated with a preexisting mental
illness. CBR programmes for children as well as adults with mental disabilities, as well as school
programmes to aid youngsters with hyperactivity and dyslexia, are examples of such programmes.
Many MHNGOs offer opportunities for professionals and health workers to be trained in certain areas of
mental health, such as counselling and therapy skills so they can, in turn, help the people who need
counselling sessions to manage their mental health in a better manner. Many institutions, for instance,
also send their students to field assignments to MHNGOs. Conduction of workshops for health workers
and other important groups is a standard feature of many MHNGOs’ operations. This increases the
number of people who can become capable of providing mental therapies and counselling sessions to
those in need.
To boost the effectiveness of mental health care, MHNGOs utilize the empowerment of afflicted people
and their families. Support groups are frequently adopted as a measure to help people who are
recovering from mental illness due to stress, anxiety, and depression. Support groups can also be found
in residential and daycare facilities that support those dealing with serious mental health conditions.
Some NGOs working towards the health sector also support the families of the people affected by a
mental condition to save them from falling victim to the same.
These were some of the ways in which NGOs work towards helping people suffering from stress and
other conditions that affect mental peace and stability. There is a huge list of NGOs, people can
approach and find a way to come out of the problems they are dealing with.
Remember, nothing is more important than mental health. If you are happy, nothing can fall short in
your life. And thus, if you are finding it difficult to find that happiness and reason to brighten up your
life, it is time to consult a therapist as soon as possible.
Reference URLs: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3146177/
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