Mental health

After an accident at his workplace, Bhoomi, a 26-year-old from rural Tamil Nadu, India, lost interest in work and isolated himself from everyone. His neighbors were at a loss to understand the change in his behavior. He was labeled a “lunatic,” which worried his parents and propelled them to seek help. People not only have to deal with the physical and biological impacts of an illness, but also with the social and cultural stigma that accompanies it. This was what Bhoomi and his family went through before they benefited from the Tamil Nadu government’s Mental Health Program (TNMHP). This community-based intervention, supported by the World Bank with Japanese Policy and Human Resources Development funds from 2012 to 2016, has used technology for not only disseminating information and raising awareness about mental illness and retardation, but also for expanding mental health care through tele-medicine and Skype. —