According to the World Health Organization, India has the greatest burden of mental and behavioural disorders. Every sixth Indian needs mental health help. The treatment gap for mental disorders ranged between 70% and 92% for different disorders. Jan Sahas works with highly excluded and disadvantaged communities who are survivors or are at-risk of issues such as gender violence, unsafe migration, forced labour conditions, sexual exploitation and trafficking.
We recognize that the communities we work with, deal with trauma in their day-to-day lives and are yet deprived of adequate mental health care that they require in order to be back on their feet. To bridge this gap, Jan Sahas has developed an in-house counselling unit with an aim to foster resilience among our communities and ensure their access to mental health care at grass-roots level. Under this initiative, by far ~7,000 women and children have received direct counselling services and children as well as youth from 19 districts have gained enhanced mental healthcare services, from existing governmental and non-governmental institutions facilitated by Jan Sahas. The initiative has led to the emergence of 428 ‘Barefoot counsellors’ (mental health caregivers) trained at providing counselling support at community level.