These NGOs are helping people deal with mental health issues amid the coronavirus pandemic

Health experts report a drastic rise in the number of mental health cases ever since the coronavirus crisis started. Now, NGOs are coming forward to help.

The outbreak of coronavirus has not only taken a toll on people’s physical health, but also their state of mind. With most individuals isolating themselves after being constantly exposed to the news surrounding coronavirus, stress and anxiety are on the rise. 

Elderly people, working women, children, and people with underlying health conditions are particularly prone to face fear and worry. According to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2017, around 7.5 percent of India’s population was said to be suffering from mental illnesses.

Various health experts have reported a steep increase in this percentage during the present lockdown. A recent survey conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) has even validated a 20 percent rise in the number of mental health cases after the coronavirus pandemic broke out. 

In order to provide support to people during these trying times, several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have stepped up their efforts. SocialStory brings to you a few of them. 

Minds Foundation

Established in 2011, the Minds Foundation has been focussing on pushing aside the stigma surrounding mental illness, through education, awareness, and provision of necessary care. With the help of community-led initiatives and a slew of collaborations with teachers, local leaders, and clinicians, the organisation has managed to back over 2.5 lakh individuals fighting mental illnesses. 

Besides, the Nizamabad NGO’s team has curated a whole range of resources to help people fight depression, isolation, and panic attacks during the lockdown.

The Minds Foundation has been offering generic coping strategies, up-to-date information about self-care tools, and resource pieces by health professionals. 

Neptune Foundation 

Neptune Foundation was born in Mumbai in 2010. The organisation is mainly engaged in identifying homeless people with mental illnesses and then helping them by arranging for shelter, essential commodities, and treatment.

The volunteers of the foundation also make efforts to reunite these individuals with their families. 

The organisation has rescued more than 313 destitutes and 55 elderly people in the last few years. And now, amid the coronavirus lockdown, Neptune Foundation has sprung into action by launching helpline numbers for people to reach out to in case they face any stress or anxiety while spending time indoors. 

The Banyan

The Banyan has been in existence in Chennai since 1993, and has since come up with a host of holistic mental health solutions to deal with different components of distress. Their programmes are very comprehensive and include medical, psychiatric, psychological, and social care.

For this, the organisation has tied up with various hospitals, shelter homes, as well as community-based outpatient outlets. 

During the coronavirus crisis, the NGO has been working towards spreading awareness on self-care and hygiene practices through videos and podcasts. 

Diya Foundation 

The motto of Diya Foundation has been to enable differently-abled people and mentally-challenged individuals to lead a life of dignity by training them in different vocational skills and building support systems for them. 

The Delhi-based NGO recently organised a musical event wherein diyas and torch lights were lit to bring about an awareness about coronavirus among people and also ward off the darkness of the uncertain times. Besides this, the organisation has put up various posts on its website and social media handles with an aim to emphasise the importance of social distancing. 

Edited by Javed Gaihlot


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