Dharamshala: The Mental Health desk of the Department of Health has taken an initiative to promote a psychosocial rehabilitation program across Tibetan communities in exile with an aim to restore the well-being and community functioning of an individual with mental illness and their families. The mental health desk implemented this program in 8 different settlements with the participation of a total of 122 beneficiaries including their families (67 females and 55 males). The executive secretaries and medical practitioners could lead the program in the respective settlements with cohesive support from CRO, Tibetan Cooperative Society, Regional Tibetan Women Association and Camp leaders.
The beneficiaries and their families were made to engage in playful activities and share their experiences with the intention of bringing about a mutual support system, a better understanding of each other’s predicament and most importantly enabling them to feel a sense of belongingness rather them being stigmatized. This approach also encompasses psycho-educating the family members by the psychiatrists and geshes so as to form a better understanding of mental illnesses while working together toward recovery through learning the basics and non-medication skills necessary to best support the individual with the mental illness both psychologically and spiritually.
The program is funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).