According to the World Health Organization, India has the greatest burden of mental and behavioural disorders.
Every sixth Indian needs mental health help and yet the treatment gap ranges between 70% and 92% for different
mental health disorders.
Jan Sahas works with highly excluded and disadvantaged communities who are survivors or are at-risk of issues such as gender violence, unsafe migration, forced labour conditions, sexual exploitation and trafficking. We recognize that the communities we work with, deal with trauma in their day-to-day lives and are largely deprived of adequate mental health care that they require in order to be back on their feet. To bridge this gap, Jan Sahas has developed an in-house counselling unit with an aim to foster resilience among our communities and ensure their access to mental health care at grass-roots level. Under this initiative, in the last one and a half year, over 1800 beneficiaries have received direct counselling services in 35 districts across 5 states. Over the last one year, 397 mental health workshops have been conducted with schools and communities to increase awareness on mental health and counselling. The team also facilitates identification and capacity building of ‘Barefoot counsellors’ (mental health caregivers) who are trained at providing counselling support at community level. In 2021, Jan Sahas opened up its Certificate Course in Barefoot Counselling to other organisations wanting to adopt the barefoot counsellor model to address mental health care at the grassroots. The first cohort had 25 participants. Jan Sahas is also training community volunteers as Mann Sathis to foster community resilience, enhance mental health literacy and make mental health care accessible at grassroots. Currently, there are 160 Mann Sathis in the state of Rajasthan and training have started in Madhya Pradesh as well.