As we enter our 16th year, Sangath has continued to flourish and consolidate its activities in our priority areas of child development, youth health and mental health. Our work has shown a continued commitment to our ideals of systematically developing and evaluating new models of care in these priority areas, and using this knowledge to improve access to care in partnership with government and NGOs. At the heart of our vision lies the ‘treatment gap’ for mental disorders and disabilities in India, i.e. the very large gap between the number of people with a mental disorder or disability and the number of these affected persons who receive the care which can greatly improve the quality of their lives. A major barrier to closing this treatment gap is the lack of affordable services in most parts of our country. Our model of care seeks to empower ordinary people through appropriate training and supervision to provide care for affected persons and thus contribute to reducing the treatment gap. Over the past two years, we have extended our expertise and models to other parts of the country-today, Sangath has teams based in several cities around the country including in Nagpur, Tezpur, Bengaluru and Bhopal and we extended our expertise in school counselling to hundreds of schools in five north Indian states. Of course, our primary work continues to focus on our local community, the people of Goa.
Over the past two years we launched several new programs. PREMIUM has the goal of developing psychological treatments for depression and harmful drinking which can be delivered by counselors in primary health care centres. PASS aims to develop a parenting intervention for children with autism delivered by community counsellors. We also completed a number of major projects, including MANAS (the largest trial in mental health in India) which developed and evaluated a lay counselor model for common mental disorders in primary care and COPSI, which developed and evaluated a community based rehabilitation intervention for people with schizophrenia. ARTI completed a comprehensive assessment of the experiences and unmet needs of families affected by autism. The findings of these earlier studies were published in leading international journals such as the Lancet, BMC Health Services Research and Autism Research.
Twinned with our scientific work, we are also committed to scaling up our models of care through collaboration with partners in the community and government. INCENSE is scaling up our approach to care for severe mental disorders in collaboration with mental hospitals in Tezpur and Pune. VISHRAM is scaling up our approach to care for common mental disorders with local NGOs and government agencies in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. PRIME is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Madhya Pradesh to strengthen the District Mental Health Program. SHAPE, our flagship youth health program, has extended it’s work from 9 schools in 2008 to 14 schools in 2012, integrating a diverse range of health concerns affecting young people, throughout Goa through our school counsellor program. We are proud to continue to serve as the state nodal agency for the National Trust to promote activities aimed at inclusion of people with disabilities. These are just some of our activities in the past two years and we encourage you to read this report to find out more about all the things we do.
Over the past two years, we have been blessed to enjoy the contributions of immensely talented and diverse service providers. Our courses, such as the Leadership in Mental Health and the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions, continue to attract students from all over the world. We have launched new courses for school and mental health counsellors. We have strengthened our partnerships with old and new collaborators, for example with the Centre for Global Mental Health in London, the University of Cape Town and the University of Liverpool; the Public Health Foundation of India and its South Asia Network for Chronic Diseases; Parivartan, Prakriti and WOTR in Maharashtra; the mental hospitals in Pune and Tezpur; Vidya Sagar and SCARF in Tamil Nadu; dozens of schools and colleges in Goa; and various departments of the Government Goa, notably health and education. Through our PRIME program, we are partners of a global network of institutions in countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda and South Africa) and Asia (Nepal and India) and with the WHO. We are delighted that we have recently become part of one of the new NIMH Hubs (SHARE) through which we will build a new collaboration with partners in Pakistan to develop a peer-delivered psychological intervention for maternal depression. Through SHARE, we are now a member of a network of over a dozen institutions in six countries in South Asia. We will also begin a new project to adapt our MANAS intervention to develop a prevention intervention for depression in older people, with collaborators in the University of Pittsburgh. We hope to extend our work with young people by carrying out a definitive evaluation of our school counselor program in Goa and a state in north India.
We have a lot to look forwards to in the coming years. In particular, we are delighted that work on renovating and rebuilding our new 'home' in Porvorim is progressing well and we hope to move our north Goa offices into these new premises by early 2013. Over the next two years we hope to greatly increase the impact of our models of care and training programs through investing in e-learning platforms. Sangath is widely considered as one of India's leading innovators in child development, youth health and mental health, in particular, for its efforts to provide care for these health issues at a low cost in routine care settings by empowering ordinary people with appropriate knowledge and skills. Our ultimate vision is to see our models of care not only evaluated thoroughly, but to become an integral part of state and national health programs. We thank our service providers, partners, collaborators, funders and friends for their unstinting support and faith and look forwards to our continuing journey with you in the years ahead.
Vishram Gupte, Amit Dias, Nazneen Sarosh-Rebelo, Mrinalini Sahasrabhojanee, Ashwin Tombat, Kalpana Joshi & Vikram Patel