MINDS program director Amul Joshi and summer fellow Abigail Warren travelled to the district of Chhota Udepur, Gujarat to visit a number of villagers who had been sought out and treated by MINDS staff. The ride to the villages was long, but scenic and luckily the rain held off until the final portion of the journey home.
The man pictured below, Sanjaybhai Tadvi lives in the village of Bahardarbur. Sanjay was diagnosed with epilepsy about seven years ago when, in collaboration with Dhiraj General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, the MINDS Foundation conducted a community mental health awareness program in Bahadarpur Village. Part of the MINDS mission is to retain patients and encourage them to complete treatment. Mr. Tadvi in particular was provided with logistical support, doctor consultations, medicine, in-patient services, and follow up visits at his home to assess mental health improvements and provide counselling at no cost via MINDS.
From 2011 to 2016, the MINDS Foundation identified 153 mentally ill patients and provided them with access to care. Most patients completed treatment and are currently doing well. A visit to Sanjay’s home on the 14th of July found him at home and helping his mother with domestic work. Sanjay is facing financial difficulties as he is not able to work because he has to take care of his mother who cannot walk on her own. Sanjay told us that he helps his mother by buying groceries and household things from the market and community members often chip in to help. Sanjay informed MINDS staff that he is doing okay despite his financial issues. Joshi assured him that he should continue consultation since travel to and from the hospital as well as meal costs will be provided. Fortunately, Sanjay has been able to sustain his mental health with the help of MINDS since 2011!