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Transforming India's State Mental Institutions

Ashoka Fellow, West Bengal, India

Speech Topics:Born into a family of committed social activists, Ratnaboli Ray is combining her background and training in psychology to transform India's state mental institutions into centers of modern, high-quality professional care. Launched in January 2000, Anjali works in collaboration with the Department of Health & Family Welfare to open the doors of state institutions to a broad array of professionals — counselors, human rights activists, psychiatrists, therapists, community workers, and others. The team works at three levels: with the mentally ill, with institutional personnel, and with the surrounding community. Ratnaboli and her colleagues will develop occupational, creative, recreational, and rights-awareness therapies to rehabilitate patients and provide them with informed, professional medical care. They will focus on democratizing the environment of care. Alongside dialogues and sensitization programs for doctors and decision-makers, they will provide the nursing staff with comprehensive training about rehabilitation techniques. The Anjali model has been replicated within West Bengal and in 5 other state run mental hospitals around the country. In five years, they have worked with 75 participants and re-integrated 60 patients into their communities after treatment.

  • Mental Health
  • Appropriate Care
  • Rehabilitation Technniques
This article was originally published on May 13, 2016
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