Over the years, certain activities at the fringe of Ashadeep’s core areas had emerged as essential services for various stakeholders in the field of mental health. These activities were streamlined under the aegis of a ‘Resource Centre’ in 2009 and included Sensitization; Orientation & Training; Research & Documentation and Advocacy on issues of mental health. Publications consist of a Training Manual On Mental Health, books named ‘Hidden in Full View’ and ‘Asthalat Suryaday’(Assamese) along with pamphlets, posters and hoardings on mental health.
The activities of the resource centre have gradually expanded to different geographical areas and various stakeholder groups. In the current year, training programmes on Mental Health have been undertaken for Police Personnel in Kamrup (metro), Doctors at Sipajhar and Boko block, Anganwadi Workers at ICDS Headquarters in Guwahati, and College Students from various parts of the country.
Promotion of ‘innovative practices’ in service provision and advocacy in Mental Health has been a key feature of the Resource Centre. In 2012, a Seven Day Workshop for College Students on “Developing Communication Tools for Awareness Generation on Mental Health” was organized. The resource persons included acclaimed photographer Sudharak Olwe, and filmmaker Sunzu Bachyapattim and the themes consisted of Public Service Announcements, Audio Clippings, Photography, and Poster Making. Thirty one students from eighteen different colleges and universities participated in the seven day workshop. A total of seventy three entries in photography, film-making, poster, and audio clipping were received through symposiums held in different universities and colleges of the state, and ten in each category were selected for the workshop.
Collaboration for concerted efforts and creation of more players in mental health is another objective of the Resource Centre. A project titled ‘Development of Community Resources for promoting Mental Health Care in the North Eastern Region’ supported by North East Network, Guwahati was carried out during the period December’2006 to November’2007. Through this exercise a training manual –‘Working with mental health in the Community’, a resource book to help Care-Givers other than mental health professionals in providing services to persons with mental illness was developed. Pamphlets and posters in five languages viz. English, Assamese, Bodo, Bengali and Khasi were developed to create awareness. Participants for this initiative included six organizations – the ant (Bongaigaon), SATRA (Sipajhar), Prerona (Jorhat) and Deshabandhu Club (Silchar), all from Assam; Bethany Society (Shillong), Meghalaya and Swabalamban (Agartala), Tripura who were provided with training and other support to initiate service facilities for rehabilitation of persons with mental illness.
In addition a number of research studies and reports were carried out:
The advocacy efforts of Ashadeep
One of the focus area of Ashadeep is to facilitate Collaborative Approach towards mental health through advocacy among various government & non-government agencies, corporates, civil society bodies, and the public. Some of the landmark achievements are