Hyderabad, February 2023: In a first-of-its-kind initiative, NGO Helping Hand Foundation runs several Primary Health Care centers in collaboration with SEED-USA and mostly from 8 locations in the Urban Slums of the old city, launched a comprehensive mental health program for women from marginalized sections of the society in Old city.
As per a survey done by HHF, most women in the Urban slums of the Old city work as maids or as domestic help. Typically, women supplement or sometimes are sole bread earners in families with average 3 to 4 children to feed. They not only work outside but must cook and feed the family after coming back. This coupled with poverty and poor nutrition takes a toll on the physical & mental health of these women.
Mental health is both a stigma and taboo in the old city. Mental health issues are poorly understood and addressed due to low awareness levels and access to mainstream mental health services or treatment is very poor in the old city as per the survey done by NGO, Helping Hand Foundation.
The Primary Health Centre located in Masjid Mohammed Mustafa in Rajendranagar will be the first center from which the program will start and will be rolled out to other 6 centers in due course.
The primary health centers run by HHF, have been providing a wide range of healthcare services for the Urban Poor. The services encompass primary care, dental, Ophthal, mini trauma, ante, and post-natal care, apart from prevention of NCDs.
Mental Health will be an added dimension into the primary health care setting for the clinics run by HHF in Urban slums of the city and this has been strongly advocated by WHO in the Universal Health Coverage model.
HHF has tied up with GoodMind.app, a mental wellness platform incubated at EdVenture Park, India’s first student-focused startup incubator. GoodMind.app will provide a platform for mental health screening.
HHF Counsellors trained in mental health will be doing the screening and the therapy or counseling for the patients that show signs of mental health issues will be done by qualified clinical psychologists from HHF and GoodMind.app.
Many women and adolescents from weaker sections suffer from depression & anxiety disorders. Poverty, hardship in life, other health issues, matrimonial issues, domestic violence, and interpersonal family issues all add up to the situation and most need help said Ms. Saniya, Founder of GoodMind.app one of the partners in the program
30% of NCDs particularly diabetics and women with hormonal imbalances suffer from undiagnosed depression and anxiety as per a survey done by NGO.
The mental health screening app will evaluate a patient on a scale of 48 & will help the counselor identify the signs and symptoms of the mental health condition of the patient. Scores between 0-24 will be considered normal and 24-40 considered moderate and 40-48 severe.
We are targeting to screen 100 patients from each of our PHCs daily translating into 500 plus minimum and all cases of moderate to severe mental health will be counseled and treatment initiated wherever necessary said Mr. Mujtaba Hasan Askari, Helping Hand Foundation.