Mental health is one of the least prioritized areas in the health care sector of Nepal. Both society and family members do not accept people with mental illness and consequently people living with psychosocial disabilities often experience discrimination. There is a severe lack of quality services in the treatment of people affected with mental illnesses. Globally Nepal ranks second in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) caused by depression, trailing only behind the United States. The estimates of the prevalence range for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and anxiety range from 18.4% to 37%. Alcoholism and MDD are comorbid – among alcohol-dependent individuals, the lifetime prevalence of MDD is 45%. Among women, the risk factors for MDD are unique, and they are related to how safe and happy they feel at home. If women do not feel safe at home, they are much more likely to have a mental illness. Yet about 10% of women continue to suffer from postpartum depression.
In Nepal, 21% of men believe wife beating is justifiable, which perpetuates domestic violence. Women’s depression is also strongly correlated with their husband’s alcoholism, the practice of polygamy, having too many children to be able to care for, smoking and drinking among the men, as well as stressful life events. Hence psychological evaluation, diagnosis, acute care treatment needs to be followed up with rehabilitation for reintegrating the individuals experiencing mental health problems back into society. With this vision, Chaitanya Institute for Mental Health will work to address the mental health challenges in Nepal. Chaitanya is a leading institution to provide adequate human resources, promote quality mental health care services across the country, increase public awareness of mental health issues and contribute to policy making.
Chaitanya Institute for Mental Health initiated its work in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation in Pune. With a decade of experience, the Institute has grown to establish five centers across the Indian States of Maharashtra, Goa, and Kerala. Chaitanya has extensively reached out to, and worked with, various communities; institutions (academic, governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations), and carried out vigorous community outreach programs.
The goal of Chaitanya Institute for Mental Health is to reintegrate the chronic mentally ill persons back into their families and society. It believes in compassionate care towards the physical and mental well-being of individuals in a therapeutic relationship of trust.
In order to achieve the above goal, Chaitanya works on specific objectives like: