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December 15, 2016 by Johann Ebenezer, MD

From poverty to purpose

The Global Mental Health Fund connects the Dhurve family and others like them in rural India with help for mental health challenges

Project “Shifa” is the Community Mental Health project at Padhar Hospital. Covering a target area of 75 tribal villages, it runs on a limited budget financed primarily by donations from well-wishers. The team consists of a psychiatrist, a coordinator, ten community field workers and nursing students posted in the psychiatry department. Patients with mental disorders and epilepsy face stigma and persecution, and often undergo painful and dangerous rituals as “cures” due to superstitions. Remote locations, poverty and lack of adequate transport facilities make access to the hospital difficult. This state of affairs is common in rural settings across the developing world, a problem compounded by the lack of trained mental health professionals.

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