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Integrating Mental Healthcare into the Public Healthcare System

The Manas Approach

The public healthcare system is designed to cater to the medical and health needs of the masses. However, for the most part, this system is not oriented towards addressing mental health concerns, lacking specialized centres or trained professionals in the area of mental health. A significant correlation exists between mental health and physical health concerns, implicating that psychological disorders and stress have the propensity to manifest as health problems. This link remains largely unexplored in the public healthcare system.

Manas Foundation has developed a comprehensive model that integrates mental healthcare into the existing public healthcare system. With outreach at the state, district, block, and village levels, state-run healthcare facilities have the ability to deliver services to a vast population. The Manas model looks into incorporating professional services of psychotherapy, counselling and psychiatry into the existing public healthcare infrastructure at each tier. This is accomplished through taking a multi-faceted approach:

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Implementations of the Manas Mental Healthcare Model 

2013-2014: Integrating Mental Health into a State-run Reproductive and Child Healthcare Model

Manas Foundation partnered with the Department of Women and Child Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi and two CSO partners, NavShrishti and Prerna, in running a government programme for reproductive and child healthcare in the semi-urban areas of Delhi. The Manas mental healthcare model was integrated into this programme as follows:

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Urban Pilot: Mental Healthcare for Disadvantaged women and youth in Semi-Urban Delhi

Civil Society Organizations are an integral parallel in delivery of healthcare services ithe community, supporting the State agenda to provide low-cost healthcare to socio-economically disadvantaged groups. As flagship initiative in the semi-urban sector, the Manas Model of mental healthcare was integrated into the healthcare programmes run by CSO-Government partnerships through a three-year project in Delhi from 2009-2011. CSO staff members trained to deliver healthcare services to women and youth were trained in counselling skills through a 48 hour curriculum. Members of the staff at Chetnalaya, Naz Foundation, Don Bosco, were capacitated as barefoot counsellors through the Manas model.

Counselling centres were also instituted at the partner CSOs through this programme to cater to the mental health needs and concerns of the beneficiaries, and expert supervision and guidance by Manas psychologists was made available to each centre as per a pre-determined schedule.

Rural Pilots: the Manas Mental Healthcare Model in rural Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal & Himachal Pradesh

The model elaborated above was also piloted in rural areas of three north Indian states, namely Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh with local CSO partners working in the health sector, and was able to achieve the following:



RCH Programme – the professionals trained in mental health included ASHA Anganwadi workers

SATOLI – participants trained were Anganwadi workers

MIND MAP – organizations partnered with in the health sectors would need to be mentioned, CSO partners to be pitched as parallels in the health system 

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