The Vandrevala Foundation launched its ‘Mental Health – India’ initiative in 2009. This major initiative focuses on the following three areas:
Raising awareness that:
Access to resources for:
Working with government, businesses, educational institutions, civil society and media to:
In pursuit of the above three areas, the Foundation has undertaken the following activities. These are all ongoing activities and not one-off campaigns. We believe that persistent, long-term efforts will have a more significant impact than short bursts of activity.
The Foundation established a mental health helpline in Mumbai, India, in August 2009. The Helpline is staffed by trained clinical psychologists and psychiatrists who form the first line of contact for callers. Experienced psychiatrists form a second line of contact.
The Helpline operates 24/7 and is run as a professional unit with counsellors being paid market rates. This is unusual as most other helplines in the country are staffed by unpaid volunteers who have other demands on their time. The counsellors document all calls on software that helps them retrieve previous call history quickly and allows for demographic studies.
The Helpline has put in place arrangements with public services such as the police, ambulance services and hospitals. The Helpline has also tied up with professional bodies. In October 2011, the Foundation created a new hub for the helpline in Delhi, India. This was with help from Emmanuel Hospital Association, St Stephen’s hospital and Mar Thoma Church. Later in Aug 2013 another hub at Surat (Gujarat) was added. In 2015 yet another hub was added in Ghandhi Nagar( Gujarat). This is with help of Gujarat Police (Suraksha Setu) and few philanthropists
In just over four years, the Helpline has helped approximately 62,000 people. This number includes the entire spectrum – from people seeking information, to people about to do themselves serious harm and who have been dissuaded by the counsellors.
The Helpline Unique All India Number is 1860-266-2345 / 1800-233-3330
Email ID is email@example.com
The Foundation has collaborated with schools and colleges to raise awareness and remove stigma. In 2011, when the city of Mumbai suffered a spate of student suicides, the Foundation Helpline was declared by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation as the official helpline that students could call.
The Foundation has: