Our Model

A Focus on Systemic Change Through Partnership

 

 

  • Foundations of Partnership
  • Community Education
  • Accessibility
  • Capacity Building
  • Reintegration

Foundations of Partnership

We look for partners who share the same vision as The MINDS Foundation – a commitment to reducing suffering from mental illness. Additionally, our partners have ties with the community and local leaders that they can use to advance the mission. All donations are guaranteed to go to program costs; therefore, we select partners who have the existing infrastructure in place so that we do not have to make those investments.
We hire local staff to lead our programs and work directly with rural communities. Our social workers help us organize community education workshops, screen the population for at-risk community members, and help support patients and their families through psychoeducation as they are recovering from their illness. We engage in dialogue with local school teachers, sarpanches and village leaders, thereby mobilizing the community to maintain the programs in the future.

Community Education

We believe that education surrounding mental health is a critical component that needs to be addressed in order to diminish the stigma surrounding it. In order to address this component, we organize mental health education workshops for each village in which we work. In order to effectively run impactful educational workshops, our social workers utilize our relationships with the sarpanch (village head) and school teacher to plan an ideal setting and time for the workshop. Following this, the social workers campaign and promote a scheduled workshop. On the day of the educational camp, MINDS volunteers, the social workers and the Psychiatry Team (a group of physicians consisting of attendings, residents and often interns) travel to the village to lead the workshops. They begin by introducing our program to the audience and describing the purpose of our educational camp. Next, a video documentary (developed by the Gujarat State Health Department) explaining and depicting mental health symptoms and disorders, is shown to the adult demographic of the village. Children, on the other hand, see a fifteen minute skit developed by children from one of our target villages. Following these educational presentations, our team interacts with and encourages questions and discussion with the audience. A poster presentation is given with the help of our social workers and Psychiatry Team in order to further reiterate the importance of mental health. In addition, we hand out visual aid booklets to all members of the community and leave the village with posters to hang up in central locations throughout.

Accessibility

Transportation & Treatment Program
This completely free-of-charge program invites those with mental illness and their families to receive transportation to and from the Psychiatry Team who will formally diagnose, counsel and provide appropriate treatment.

Capacity-Building

Community Mental Health Workers
We hire and train community members to be mental health workers. The community mental health workers (CMHWs) are at the frontline of our programs. They use their familiarity with the community and leverage their social networks so that we may efficiently reach more people. Furthermore, they support patients through their recovery and continue to educate the community about mental health. This program not only allows us to increase access to care but mobilizes the community to take charge and improve the health of their own members. Investing in local stakeholders allows us to have a long-term impact.

Reintegration

Community Reintegration
The end goal for patients is to live happy lives where they can contribute productively to their community. To help them reach these goals, we provide social and vocational rehabilitation programs that will equip them with the skills to succeed in their work, household or school responsibilities. It is a two-way street where the focus is also on preparing the community to be supportive of those who have or have had a mental disorder.