This week the MINDS Staff and volunteers went to rural villages surrounding Vadodara to collect patient narratives. These patient narratives will help the MINDS Foundation assess the impact that the program has on the quality of life of current patients. These narratives were collected by going to the patient’s home (with their permission, of course) and conducting qualitative interviews. This patient narrative collection can help the MINDS Foundation improve upon existing services if needed, and get a feel for the patient’s thoughts about the program.
Our social worker, Chintan Thakkar, led the interviews by asking a set of questions to the patient or the patient’s family member. The answers were recorded on a smartphone and were also written down on an answer sheet. Questions included asking what symptoms the patient was experiencing, how they got connected to their treatment program, and how effective the treatment has been for them. Other questions sought to answer if the patients and their families have experienced any stigma surrounding their particular mental illness, if they had gone to any faith-healers to treat their illnesses, and what hopes they had regarding their treatment program.
This was a great way to get in touch with the villagers and get their opinions. Everyone was very hospitable and the majority of the children in the villages showed up to see what all the commotion was about. In addition, the MINDS staff was able to find more patients they could refer to Gotri Medical Hospital so they could get their necessary treatment.
On Friday night, our team held our community awareness program in Chansad to inform the villagers about mental health illnesses by screening our MINDS movie. All the children showed up first joking about watching Bahubaali and approximately 150 villagers were present by the time the movie had started. At the end of our time there, flyers with more information about mental health, the MINDS Foundation, and the hospital were handed out to all the villagers.