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Varanasi, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh

Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) has been providing health care services through its village medical camps in 9 villages spread over 7 blocks of Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts since 2006.  These villages range from 40 to 130 km from RKM, Varanasi. The total population covered is around 70,000, with most people engaged in agriculture, and 40% of the population being Below Poverty Line

In 2013 mental health services were integrated into the community-based primary health programs of (RKM) as part of the Jan Man Swasthya Pariyojana (JMSP).The programme focused on the treatment needs of people with Common Mental disorders (CMD), Severe Mental Disorders (SMD) and convulsive epilepsy.  At that time, no psychiatric facility existed in the area in the government or private sector. Psychiatric patients had to go to Allahabad or Buxar (50-120 km) for treatment.

Our President Dr. Amiya Banerjee has been the Mentor and Consultant psychiatrist for the mental health services at RKM since the inception of the mental health programme in 2013.  In 2018, this programme was further scaled up to include telemedicine and telepsychiatry services. Dr. Bannerjee regularly conducts onsite hands-on training for the middle-level team and the doctors, provides his supervision and clinical expertise for the treatment and clinical monitoring of patients, develops booklets, manuals, and videos for training along with conceptualizing research design and data analysis for scientific publication of results and insights gained from the program.

The mental health services were integrated into the 3-tier primary care system, with:

  • the physician being available in-person in the Mobile Medical Units (MMU) or available virtually at the Telemedicine Units (TMU)
  • the Community Health Workers (CHW) providing door-to-door coverage.
    the Middle Level Team (MLT) working as ‘physician substitutes’ and trainers of CHWs.

In January 2021, Manas Foundation  was honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of taking this mental health program forward as a partner of Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service, Varanasi.