Continual Mental Health Interventions…

The Mental Health improvements initiative in community and schools are leading program the MINDS Foundation is delivering to reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental health and people suffering from mental illness.

Students, are more vulnerable to mental health issues due to variety of reasons, be it hormonal changes, puberty period, educational boredom, peers pressure, social and family life issues and self image, romantic relationship issues.

The School Mental Health Education Programs of the MINDS foundation helps adolescents (students) to understand factors affecting mental health and breaking the stigma around it. The program delivery imparts knowledge on how the stress, anxiety and depression can be reduced with right help, talking about mental illness and one’s feelings and asking for help. The program encourages students to stop bullying and treat children with special need / their colleague equally and with empathetic support.

Educational, personal and personality related counseling also been provided during the school mental health education programs. sharing herewith the recent program details that held at Talsat Village, in Vadodara District of Gujarat. MINDS dedicated field social worker’s have delivered the program using sensitization and strong appealing skills to eradicate mental health misconception from students and ensured teachers to be torch bearing person to help student in difficult circumstances to address mental health and provide with counseling and treatment.

will continue with more positive stories from the field….


Community Mental Health Worker’s Training Programme Phase-II

                             The MINDS Foundation, team has conducted another excellent training programme at CHANSAD Village of Padra Taluka of Vadodara, Gujarat. Chansad also popular for Pujya Pramukhswami Maharaj’s (BAPS) birth place around the world. We invited twelve ASHA workers of Chansad cluster as participants.

Programme was delivered in a way that participants get to know in-depth knowledge on basics of mental health, factors affecting mental health, symptoms of mental illness and types of mental illnesses. Also, quality of training and language was maintained easy as possible for laymen learning. ASHA workers are an important health workers in communities who can lead the mental health awareness and assistance programme. CMHW programme enables these participants to work as a key point of contact in to their community and provide first aid mental health care to the individuals and their family.

The training module included, case studies, live interaction with actual pre-diagnosed patients. Role play for good and bad counselling and interaction of CMHW with patients were also taught to make their skills more effective and supportive.

An exclusive research was held in partnership with The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Global Mental Health), New York, USA for the CMHW Training Programme: “To assess two different approaches towards CMHW training through didactic learning and patient interection”. Outcome of the research will be seen after couple of months when the research (public Health) students Ms. Rachita and Ms. Sara will prepare their first manuscript of their research. Also, a pre and post survey to assess knowledge improvement was also carried out before and after the training. To improve the quality of training and add more from the field and learning experiences.

With this training, The MINDS Foundation put forward an appeal to potential participants, Govt. Psychiatry / Health Dept, District Administration and interested individuals working in health / education sector to join hands with MINDS and can expand such programmes in coming time.

To know more about our programmes, schedules and partnership please write to us at or call on : +919033837227



Amul Joshi,

The Minds Foundation

Mental Health Hospital Visit and CMHW Training Program

Our MINDS team had a busy last week as we planned for a Community Mental Health Workers (CMHW) Training Program and took one day to visit the Kareli Baug Hospital for Mental Health. The Kareli Baug Hospital has been very well-known for its mental health services since its inception in 1968. Our special guest, Dr. Martin from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, was especially eager for the visit as he used to run a hospital himself. During our visit, we learned about the various rehabilitation programs, saw the different wards, and heard about the basic everyday functions of the hospital. Dr. Martin discussed the various treatment options available in the hospital, the hospital policies and their effectiveness, and the stigma surrounding mental health in Vadodara with one of the psychiatrists in the hospital.

Dr. Martin, our MINDS fellows, and social workers chatting with one of the hospital psychiatrists

The rest of the week we prepared for our weekend CMHW Training Program which took place in Jaspur, a rural village around Vadodara. This program aims to educate the local health workers (specifically ASHA workers and Anganwadis) about mental health and helps them to screen for any ill patients. The health workers are in an especially valuable position since they regularly communicate with the villagers and have various connections throughout the areas in which they work. Amul Joshi, our Program Director, led most of the training as he taught the 12 health workers about various disorders, their symptoms, and how to properly handle these situations.

CMHW Training Program Activites

There will be another training program taking place soon as there are two Masters of Public Health students from Mt. Sinai College, Sara and Rachita, conducting a research project that will compare two different approaches to training community health workers. One method consists of a didactic training module while the other one incorporates direct patient interaction in a didactic training module. The study will hopefully show the advantages and disadvantages of both training methods.

We will be sure to update and share more stories about our programs and projects!

The live love laugh foundation and The Minds foundation phase out second year of School Mental Health Education Programme. For this year 2017-18 the partners aim to provide education to more than 5000 students and 600 teachers. This time we expanded the SMHEP project in the western parts of Gujarat and aim to cover schools of Bhavnagar District. Today the first school program was delivered at Shri.Dakshina Murty Vinay Mandir, Bhavnagar and there were 115 students remain present .



will share more info and stories in days to come !!

Assessing Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Suicide Prevention

The past two weeks our MINDS team has been working on a project to assess secondary school teachers’ attitudes towards suicide and suicidal behavior. Sarah Jameson, a student in the Masters of Public Health program at the University of South Florida, primarily led the project and used two valid and reliable scales for measuring suicide awareness and perceptions: the Attitude Towards Suicide Prevention Scale and the Stigma Towards Suicide Scale.  Additionally, flyers were provided to the schools with information on how to properly take care of students that might be portraying suicidal behavior.

School Survey 2
Teachers completing the surveys at the Jayshree Khodiyar English School in Anagad

Our team went to four schools in the rural villages of Jaspur, Chansad, Koyli, and Anagad. We handed out both scales in all the schools and were able to survey a total of 39 teachers and 2 principals.

The results of the surveys displayed an overall willingness to assist in student suicide prevention; however, as expected, a slight stigma towards suicide is still prevalent.  A future suicide prevention program aimed towards secondary school teachers in rural Gujarat could be beneficial since teachers are willing to prevent suicide.  Teachers are in a prime position to aid in the reduction of preventable student suicides.  

School Survey 1
Teachers completing surveys at Shree Sewa Samaj Vidyalay in Jaspur

Alongside this project, our team was also able to chat with some of the principals and teachers on a personal basis of what they think might be the cause of the high numbers of suicides among students today. The conversations also centered around other issues the schools are facing such as the lack of parents’ attention on their children’s education, state educational policies, and how to further fight mental health problems. Our MINDS teams will surely keep these issues on our radar and we will hopefully be able to engage some of them while we continue battle mental health problems in rural India.

Patient Narratives and Community Awareness Program with MINDS

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.

Patient Narrative
Chintan Thakkar interviewing a patient’s family who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia

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.

CAP in Chansad
The villagers starting to gather as we set up for our community awareness program in Chansad

Work with MINDS Foundation!!

indexThe MINDS Foundation invites competent and qualified individuals to work as Social Worker / Program Executive. The position is based out in Vadodara, Gujarat, includes extensive traveling on two wheeler / public transport in rural areas / villages of Vadodara / Chhota Udepur and Panchmahal districts of Gujarat. Salary will commensurate with the experience and education.

The position is purely on contract basis and will get extension purely on performance and competency level to the job / tasks. The candidate should be compassionate for Mental health and outreach activities to provide with adherence to community peoples in villages. MA Psychology / MSW / MRS / MA Social Work with experience will be preferred.

Interested Prospects shall forward their CV / Resume mentioning subject as (Application for suitable position with MINDS Foundation) via email on and on