About This Project
The biggest challenge in today’s society is growing mental illness & marginalization of the affected individual. The Prevalance Rate for schizophrenia is approximately 1.1% of the population over the age of 18 (source: NIMH) or, in other words, at any one time as many as 51 million people worldwide suffer from schizophrenia, including;
6 to 12 million people in China (a rough estimate based on the population)
4.3 to 8.7 million people in India (a rough estimate based on the population)
2.2 million people in USA
285,000 people in Australia
Over 280,000 people in Canada
Over 250,000 diagnosed Schizophrenia, long considered the most chronic, debilitating and costly mental illness, now consumes a total of about $63 billion a year for direct treatment, societal and family costs.
In this scenario a change is needed for the betterment of these people in the minimum available resources. India & many other countries where resources are limited need to find out a path to improve the quality of life of people affected with mental illness keeping in view that their Human Rights are not violated.
The need of the hour
Research shows that the most important need of a person suffering from major psychological problem is meaningful engagement & earning a livelihood. Work therapy works wonders for them & their symptoms reduce a lot if they can be successfully engaged in a meaningful work which satisfies their aptitude.
Even after treatment if the recovered person remains confined in his own house because of lack of opportunities available in the society the chances of relapses become frequent & may lead to frequent hospitalization as well as desertion of MI person by the family. Recovery of the people suffering from MI is needed & it must be long lasting recovery model.
Employment, Education, Vocational trainings, meaningful engagements suitable for the person according to their concentration level as well as restlessness is needed.
MI people throughout the world face direct or indirect stigma & lack of opportunities for them. Though getting a job can be easier in Western countries but even then a chunk of MI people remain unoccupied which often increases their illness. “Many and varied employment obstacles face adults with psychiatric disabilities, such as gaps in work history, limited employment experience, lack of confidence, fear and anxiety, workplace discrimination and inflexibility, social stigma and the rigidity of existing income support/benefit programs.
The unemployment rate of persons with serious mental illness reflects these obstacles and has been commonly reported to range from 70-90%, depending on the severity of the disability. These statistics are particularly disturbing in light of the fact that productive work has been identified as a leading component in promoting positive mental health and in paving the way for a rich and fulfilling life in the community.
Access to meaningful, paid work is a basic human right for every citizen, and those who experience serious mental illness should have equal access to the fundamental elements of citizenship which include: housing, education, income and work. This means that each individual has the right to be employed in a mainstream job, rather than being labeled as a client in a training program or a sheltered workshop.” (Canadian mental Health association)
Services & products acting as a solution
The services that we are going to provide can be categorized in to visible products & invisible impactful services.
Invisible impactful services-Recovery of the affected member is needed & for that we are creating a working community where professionals, volunteers and members are working to support the reentry (mainstreaming) of these members in to the society. It creates a place in the society where the various participants can congregate on a daily basis in a productive social endeavor–the social integration of its membership through mutual support and employment. The working community model is a replication of a model in healthcare from Fountain House, New York, that features a strengths-base, empowering and collaborative social innovation in support of people suffering the social and personal isolation that results from mental illness. The model has been recognized in the United States as an evidence-based practice which has been faithfully replicated in over three hundred clubhouses throughout the globe.
 People with mental illness are called members as they are equal partners in this organized social endeavor.
 See www.iccd.org
Till now we have been successfully able to provide employment for some of them but there are a huge number of people whose needs are yet to be fulfilled.
Surprisingly majority of them have immense creativity & we are trying to generate livelihood by utilizing their creativity too. We have started entrepreneurship project which provides an opportunity to produce costume jeweleries, fabric, embroidery works & we provide opportunity to sell them to earn their livelihood through our website, networking with different retailers available in the country.
We are developing a special website where people from all over the world would get a glimpse of the products made by members/ beneficiaries & able to buy it & know the challenges that each of these individuals has faced in their lives & how this creativity has helped them to overcome the challenges successfully. An opportunity to interact with the person & send him comments about his product would be an added attraction. The change in the life of these people after their product is sold could provide satisfaction to the buyer apart from the satisfaction that they get from the products only. Any people suffering from MI from anywhere in the world can exhibit & sale his product through this website. This becomes a window to the outside world for them as well as a means to exhibit their creativities, get appreciation & a path to earn their own livelihood. Apart from employment this creates another platform to become economically independent.
This initiative is innovative as we are transforming a non-productive member of the society to a productive member of the Working Community as well as transforming them in to entrepreneurs so that they can choose their own timings & settings & do the work at ease. This would not only generate their income but also help them to be independent, self reliant & promote social inclusion of mentally ill people in the society & act in the process of Long Lasting Recovery.