On 26th and 27th of March 2023, Mental Health Foundation along with Milarepa foundation and Mon Foundation participated in a Mental Health Camp in Mirik region of the Darjeeling district. MHF, Kolkata joined hands with Milarepa Foundation in Darjeeling District to create awareness on mental health and developmental disorders include speech and hearing impairment.

Three members of our team, Satabhisha Chatterjee and Anupam Das, Consultant Clinical Psychologists and Mr Santanu Mukherjee, Speech and Language Therapist, travelled to North Bengal and worked in local community centres to treat, screen and spread awareness on mental illness and developmental disorders. We were hosted by Salamander Tourism and ACT (Association for Conservation and Tourism) at Manju Camp and Tabakoshi respectively. The mental health camp was held with the intention to build awareness and bring psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and associated facilities to the people in the villages. The experience exposed us to the reality of lack of services and awareness in rural communities. The response was heartening. It is a tiny step but we have have started the journey in collaborative community work, in the community. The response to community sensitisation was heartening. Local NGO’s have pitched in with promises of logistical support in the future. The long term aim is to build a more self sustaining system with barefoot counsellors with regular telemedicine and periodic on-ground support.