It’s been very long since the last blog was published by one of the MINDS contributor on site field program at Vadodara. Its indeed a challenging time to sustain the MINDS onsite program for school education on mental health. Staff shortages, direct on duty and less orientation time, auxiliary tasks and weather challenges are some of the key factor that hampers MINDS program goals.
Team Spirit!! (in funny way the team named it after popular snack shop of vadodara YO Frankie!! deriving … Yo Minds Team… Good memories to share with this photo of Left to right: (Sowmya, Dhara, Amul & Yuvraj, and of course our very own Rachel Fischer)
On finance, few setback were there, as MINDS lead partner The GlobeMed Chapter at University of Washington had ended up their partnership. Whereas, I (Program Manager) and Program Associate (Dhara Joshi), shifted to new location out of the State to work in different social intervention. However, attached to the MINDS vision and grassroots approaches with different Mental Health program, like to associated with MINDS on longer terms. Thanks to Raghu Sir (Founder and CEO) to continue me as MINDS Program Manager to manage the work even remotely, through virtual communications to look after field staff and assess the progress of work.
At present, MINDS foundation co-partnered with The Live Love Laugh Foundation of (the Deepika Padukone) to conduct targeted school education program on mental health. for 2016-17 MINDS aims to expand its reach to more than 75 villages and equal numbers of schools, providing mental health education to around 10,000 Children and 450 Teachers across Vadodara and Chhota Udepur district clusters and villages.
In addition, the June-July 2016 months was also very important and value adding to MINDS core activity, as MINDS in partnership with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai had conducted research on “knowledge and attitudes towards Mental Health among ASHA and Anganwadi Workers of Gujarat”. Significant data collection had been done by the hard-working team of Mount Sinai MPH students Ms. Qainat Shah and Ms. Pooja Dave along with Ms. Vasundhara Thakur and Mr. Chintan Thakkar (our newly appointed Social Worker). near about 150 samples have been collected proportionately to have the sense of mental health impressions among the target group. The publication of the research will be carried out in next 8 to 10 months. Excited though to get the results / conclusions and suggestions to include new focus group for mental health project and develop strategies for community intervention program.
Illustrative photo of Program Manager (Amul) and Program Associate (Dhara) with Dr. Amy Aloysi (ISMMS) and Dr. Rachel Fischer (PG4 ISMMS), during Govt. Mental Health Hospital visit in Vadodara.
The kind of mid review of MINDS for 2016-17 is on going, and feeling confident that next months will be more focused, target oriented and achievable. Though different circumstances and changes in staff, structure and program, at MINDS the grassroots approach to eliminate stigma around mental health will be dealt and addressed to the higher extent of possible.
Wish, for humble support and partnership for months to come too!! As Changes and Challenges are good !!
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