Minds for Health
Minds for Health is an independent, voluntary run organisation which aims to tackle mental illness and poverty in Low and Middle Income Countries (LAMIC).
We are a diverse group of people united by a passionate belief in the need to address mental health problems in resource-poor areas.
- Mental illnesses are responsible for an estimated 14% of the Global Burden of Disease (illness and deaths) yet receive only 1% of world health expenditure.
- Mental illness has been connected to absolute and relative poverty.
- The availability of mental health services is worst in areas of greatest need.
We offer support through partner organisations providing accessible mental healthcare and addressing social or economic causes and consequences of mental illness.
Our work started from the experiences of volunteers to Antara, a mental health non-governmental organisation in India. They witnessed people affected by mental illness, poverty and the vicious cycles that connect them. We decided to act, believing that advocacy for change, and listening to service users must go alongside the development of mental health facilities and services.
- Financial Support
- Direct Support
- Research and Cooperation
Minds for Health is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.
It was founded in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1971 by a group of psychiatrists and social workers who were concerned by the chronic lack of care for those affected by mental illness.
Less than 1% of India's health budget is spent on mental health and there are only 2-3 psychiatrists per million people, despite the prevalance of psychological disorders. Antara provides a valuable and substantial adjunct to the government mental health services.
The main centre of Antara’s activities, 'Antaragram' is situated in a rural district of West Bengal. It also operates through satellite clinics and health camps for remote rural and inner-city communities and has a separate rehabilitation centre.
It provides evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation services including 200 inpatient beds for men, women and children affected by mental illness or substance abuse problems, outpatient care to over 1600 people each week and extensive community based activities. It is actively involved in training nurses and social workers, mental health promotion and integrated general healthcare.
Antara’s services are extended on a means-tested basis, providing low-cost and free care to patients unable to afford access to essential mental healthcare.