Basic Needs India (BNI) started Community Mental Health and Development (CMHD) program in TN in the year 2002 through consulting likeminded organizations, through the mediation of the nodal resource agencies ADD India and Vidyasagar. The program is being implemented in parts of  12 districts with primary objective of including persons living with mental iillness (PLWMI) in to the development processes.

During this implementation phase the focus was on the following: - identification of Persons Living with Mental Illness (PLWMI), livelihoods support and linkages, mobilizing community support, inclusion of PLWMI and family members in the community groups, building community support groups and activating the systems related to treatment through advocacy.   

The present phase of the program is aiming at sustaining the changes and creating an environment where people living with mental illness can lead life with dignity and their rights are respected and  gets support from communities for their care and rehabilitation. CMHD has been integrated into the organizations’ policy and programs . The state level alliance (informal) of people living with mental illness and their supporters along with BNI continues to advocate with the authorities for meeting the needs of people living with mental illness.

 The programme is being implemented by 2 partners in 21 blocks in 12 districts such as Pudukottai, Trichy, Theni, Dindigul, Kanyakumari, Pondichery,  Nilgiris,  Thiruvallur, Vellur, Erode, Thirunelveli, Thiruvarur and Thanjavoor.

Facts and Figures

(PLWMI - persons with mental illness)

No of PLWMIs identified
No of PLWMIs currently under treatment
No of PLWMIs stabilised
Over the last 9 years of initiative, there are many quantitative and qualitative changes that have happened to the life circumstances of PLWMI
  • The improvements in the quality of life of 3220 PLWMI and their carers in the program.
  • Treatment facilities made available from the government in all districts through continuously advocating with the authorities.
  • The over all male female ratios are 51.24: 48.75 which shows more women are identified and community accepting mental illness as any other illness.
  • Over all 67.54% of people are under regular treatment and 73.83% of all under treatment are stable and they are mainstreamed in to the community activities.
  • Rise is identification of common mental disorder
  • In all program locations (partner areas) the associations of PLWMI and carers are meeting regularly and started being active.
  • Volunteers of these associations are taking varying levels of responsibilities for identification, referral and family support of PLWMIs (even though in some locations the associations are in infancy)
  • Caregivers associations, Disability federations, Partner organizations are influencing local Panchayats to include people living with mental illness in all the poverty alleviation schemes.
  • The network established earlier by all the partners continues.
  • The income generation activities are: weaving, goat and sheep rearing, cow rearing, petty shop, vegetable vending, blanket weaving, tailoring, repair and maintenance of electrical and electronic appliance, agriculture and vermi compost. The average income varies between 300 to 3000 rupees per month