A new portal addressing mental health in India Feb. 18, 2015, 11:31 a.m.
Summary :A newly launched portal by The White Swan Foundation provides much needed access to knowledge on mental health in India
By 2020, WHO predicts that 20% of India's population will suffer from some form of mental illness. Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst India's youth aged 18 – 29 years of age. In spite of the serious problem India faces with mental illness, there is very little information available to understand mental health and is considered shameful to speak about.
The White Swan Foundation seeks to give people access to knowledge and information about mental health to bust myths surrounding mental illness and enable people to take action for their mental well-being. Business leader and Board Member of White Swan Foundation, Subroto Bagchi believes that providing access to knowledge on mental health to the common man is key to addressing the numerous challenges of mental healthcare in the country. The White Swan Foundation is launching their web portal today and we got speaking with Manoj Chandran, CEO of White Swan Foundation to tell us about what we can expect.
The White Swan Foundation portal
With Mahiti, White Swan Foundation has developed a web portal dedicated to issues of mental health that can act as a one-stop space to learn about mental health and illnesses and provide information about resources and services available in various parts of the country to offer help. Partnering with NIMHANS, White Swan Foundation will drive offline and online campaigns that will seek to create dialogue around mental health issues.
Manoj Chandran says that the portal will target three types of audiences - “patients who suffer from mental health problems, their caregivers and the common man who feels that there is no need for him or her to know about mental health. While the portal will offer clarity to patients and caregivers about possible problems and course of action; it is the common man that must learn about and appreciate the reality of mental health, to play a constructive role in breaking myths surrounding mental health. Our portal will engage people in creating a more supportive society.”
Curating local, Indian content
The portal covers information including tips for caregivers, symptoms on common disorders, life-stage disorders and serious disorders. The portal will also feature articles by experts around subjects and issues related to mental health that will keep rotating over a fortnight or so. Currently the portal is launching with issues related to youth and mental health, parenting and caregiving to those suffering from mental illnesses.
In months to come, content will be available in several Indian languages and the White Swan Foundation will begin a series of offline events to engage with the general public and create awareness on mental health. The White Swan Foundation welcomes partnerships to increase the reach of the portal to audiences. Manoj reiterates this focus saying that “the knowledge on mental health that we create is freely available for others to disseminate.”
We at Mahiti are proud to be partners with White Swan Foundation in their endeavour to break the silence around mental healthcare in India. Do visit www.whiteswanfoundation.org