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Mind Map Programme of Mental Health Capacity Building of CSOs

Capacity Building of Frontline CSO Workers as Barefoot Counsellors

The Mind Map Model was operationalized with the support of Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust (SDTT) over 2009-2011, with its Pilot Phase spanning 2006-2007, implemented with CSOs working with Urban Disadvantaged Youth

Manas Foundation has conducted, customized and intensive mental health support programmes for employees of multiple CSOs that work on causes of livelihood generation, education, health etc. and did not have an in-house facility of mental health care such as SAMUEL Foundation, Smile, Aman Biradiri, Udayan Care, Deepalaya etc.

In this programme, each partner CSO selects a core team of frontline workers whose psychosocial capacities are to be built towards training them as barefoot counselors. These selected participants are then trained in basic counseling skills via a comprehensive 48 hour module spread over 6 months.

 This is a structured, standardized module which takes the participants through the following content:

  1. Understanding and integrating key mental health aspects into their everyday work.
  2. Recognizing and responding to their own stresses, anxieties and burn out.
  3. Recognizing mental health problems and issues within the community they work with
  4. Training in management of mental health concerns, incorporating delivery of basic mental health care within the process of delivery of their responsibilities.
  5. Referring cases on a timely basis to relevant support organizations.The Mind Map Model was operationalized with the support of Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust (SDTT) over 2009-2011, with its Pilot Phase spanning 2006-2007, implemented with CSOs working with Urban Disadvantaged Youth

The process of capacity building adopts a hands-on approach wherein classroom theory is combined with practical application, with case-work being undertaken under supervision. After training a cadre of barefoot counselors for each partner CSO, Manas also assists the organization in operationalizing plug-in mental health units (MHUs) within the premises of the concerned organization. Keeping in mind the infrastructural constraints, these MHUs range from “conversation corners” with a simple table and chair, or two cushions on which the service seeker and trained barefoot counselor can discuss concerns. The outreach groups are made aware of these spaces, days of operationalization as well as their purpose towards addressing mental health and psychosocial needs.

The group of barefoot counselors is also trained on procedures and requirements for forming and running a mental health unit along with receiving support on case documentation and recording. 

Experts from Manas visit these MHUs and provide additional support by undertaking direct therapy work for cases which require further expertise while hand holding the barefoot  in their process of delivery of mental health services through case discussions, presentations and group work.

Manas Foundation ran a pilot from 2006-2007 along with its partner organizations namely: Literacy India, Hope Foundation, Salaam Baalak Trust, Vidya and Child and Deepalaya and trained upto 50 frontline workers. 

The pilot was a success and Manas paved its way further when it launched its phase 1 of ‘Capacity Building’ (2009-2010) with Smile Foundation, Deepalaya, Udayan Care, Aman Biradari, Chetanalaya, Literacy India, Vidya and Child Samuel Foundation, Don Bosco Technical Institute and Shantidevi Charitable Trust.

In our endeavor of building the capacities of CSO’s, we designed and conducted a 48 hour training curriculum in Basic Counseling Skills and a 30 Hour training curriculum in career counseling for disadvantaged youth. 

As a result, we triumphantly trained 55 frontline workers trained as barefoot counselors, side by side a 100 cases were documented by these trained barefoot counselors.

As Phase 2 (2010-2011) of ‘Capacity Building’ commenced there were a total of 10 MHUs established and  operationalized. Phase 2 allowed for 2½ years duration of functional MHUs under this programme. Consistency of our supervision was maintained as we carried out 30 supervisory visits by Manas experts. Comprehensively, a number of 500 clients were directly serviced by the MHU at each CSO and approximately 5000 clients were outreached through the MHUs during the course of the programme. The last phase of this programme was carried out from 2011 to 2013 wherein 500 research participants whose mental health needs and concerns were mapped via an action research.

 Pehchan Training Curriculum: 201

MSM, Transgender and Hijra Community systems strengthening Mental Health Module: by Ms Monica Kumar, Manas Foundation

Among the high-risk groups for HIV-AIDS are men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders (TG), and hijras (MTH). The vulnerability of MTH persons to HIV is amplified by social marginalisation, discrimination, and poor access to health services. Many civil society partners lack adequate expertise or capacity to work with MTH populations. Community-based organisations (CBOs) can be effective in reaching their peers with prevention and other HIV[1]related services.

The Mental Health Module (C3) was developed to build the knowledge and skills of community volunteers, counsellors and outreach workers of NGOs and CBOs who work directly with MTH communities. It was designed to help training participants: 1) become familiar with basic concepts of counselling; 2) develop skills to form a support relationship with a programme client within an ethical framework; 3) increase awareness of common mental health concerns among men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras; 4) build capacity to assess and provide basic psycho-social support; and 5) promote positive mental health.

Manas Collabrated with SCERT and UNFPA

This program was conducted in 2016 with the aim to build capacities of counselors employed in Delhi government schools. During 15 day training we trained a total of 150 counselors in batches of 50 each. Our training was aimed at equipping the counselors to work efficiently, identify mental health concerns in school children and also provide early intervention to these children. 

The topics covered in this five day training included-

  • Basic counseling skills
  • Internalising and externalising disorders in children
  • Intelligence, intellectual disability and intellectual giftedness
  • Learning disability
  • Child sexual abuse and trauma counseling
  • Substance abuse and management

At the end of the training Manas also developed a reference guide for the  employed by SCERT. This reference guide served as a manual they can refer to for all the topics that were covered during the 5 day training. It also contained various innovative tools and strategies which would facilitate them to identify and manage mental health concerns amongst children.

Our recent partnerships with CSOs- Impact and Outcome​

Training with CSO partners

Webinars with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) 

Focusing on the Covid impact on mental health and highlighting the impact of Covid on children and adolescents- Manas organized webinars for Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) in the month of May 2021. 

Manas conducted a needs based assessment which helped in understanding the roles of the volunteers as also the challenges they have had to deal with which further helped gain context specific insight to design and conduct webinars, which had an overview on mental health, how to care for your own mental health and basic principles of psychological first aid in challenging times of Covid 19. 

National Trainings and Webinars In partnership with NIDM (National Institute of Disaster Management)

Manas Foundation in Collaboration with National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, conducts Child Centred Disaster Risk Reduction Training. This Orientation programme trains people from different fields i.e. Central & State Govt. officials, state disaster management authorities, administrative training institutions, line departments of state government (Health, Education, Panchayat Raj, Rural Development, Revenue, Women and Child Welfare, Police Department and any other relevant department) academia, civil society organization practitioners, parents, teachers, students etc.

Manas as an implementing partner of NIDM conducts this certificate based training that aims to build skills towards risk informed planning and preparedness to ensure child safety. This training has gained more significance in the ongoing context of the Corona Virus pandemic.

Manas Foundation collaborates with NIDM in the capacity of providing mental health and gender expertise by engaging with a large number of pan-India audiences through the platform of webinars. Through these interactive webinars conducted by NIDM, Manas Foundation has reached more than 10 thousand individuals.