Mental Health Network KERALA PARTNERSHIP, U.K.
of THRANI reachout
Out reach intervention services is
one of the important activities of THRANI, which is based on the principle of Community
Medicine. An average of 20-25 clients are consulted/counseled every day,
in outreach counseling service alone. Government
General Hospital, Selected Educational Institutions, Prisons, and Three
Panchayat / Corporation are the present areas of intervention. The number of clients
counseled through out-reach services during the project year 2001-2002 is 2224. A total of 849 clients (including IV drug users)
were helped through community based interventions, counselors go and counsel the clients at their respective places, rather than they coming to the center.
Two Panchayats (Pallickal Panchayat and Anchuthengu Panchayat) and One Corporation ward
(Valiyathura / Vallakadavu Ward) were the identified target area for training community (grass-root level volunteer) counselors.
In the first phase, people at large were invited to participate in the training programs through sensitization sessions at each Panchayat. Later Local Self Government selected trainees based on each ones' involvement and enthusiasms in public activities. The workshop emphasized
Risk-reduction Skills Training, Crisis Intervention, Suicide Prevention,
Sexuality, HIV and STI education (using prior prepared module). In phase two, trained grass root level counselors were prompted to plan
Crisis Intervention, Suicide Prevention and HIV prevention outreach activities and encourage others in neighborhood to attend risk reduction workshops in the area. During phase three, the THRANI counselors met volunteers regularly to organize and conduct crisis management
awareness events tailored to neighborhood values and interests. These events included local resource speakers talking on
Suicide Prevention, Promoting Mental Health, HIV/AIDS prevention, safer sex
- better living themes, exhibitions, songs and folk programs that highlighted
Suicide Prevention, Crisis Intervention and HIV/AIDS Prevention messages. THRANI also conducted smaller-scale activities such as one to one conversations focused on
Mental Health Promotion, Suicide Prevention, AIDS risk reduction, and distribution of safer sex materials.
A total of 80 volunteers were trained in three communities as per the prepared module, i.e., for 60 hours per community (6 hours per day for 10 days each). After the training, follow-ups are carried out on a regular basis. Sharing of experiences, discussions on the various interventions undertaken by the volunteers are the agenda for follow-ups. Each volunteer identifies those at high-risk and intervention plans are made accordingly, if not referrals for specialized services. The volunteers keep a record of their activities to be shared in the follow-up meetings. "The intervention's strong impact was likely due to the combination of
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention Counseling Training with HIV and sex related risk reduction
education workshops and community events planned and carried out by well-liked and trusted individuals," said one Panchayat member. "These people helped create and reinforce community-wide social norms that supported
Mental Health Promotion and HIV risk reduction."