Capacity Building


Countless children in India face deprivation and discrimination in their daily lives. Many are disadvantaged from birth – born into poor and dysfunctional families, facing neglect and abuse within the family and beyond. Even attempts to escape bring risks and challenges. They may end up as street and working children or get trafficked into extremely exploitative and abusive situations. The constant struggle with difficult circumstances manifests in complex ways including aggression, addiction, low self esteem, self harm, suicidal tendencies, withdrawal and mental health disorders (anxiety, depression).


MHF works closely with civil society organisations in conducting customised training programmes covering various levels of functionaries in institutional, community and outreach settings. The inputs are shaped by learnings from our direct engagement with different sections of marginalised, abused or traumatised children and adolescents (including but not limited to – street and working children, children with substance abuse issues, survivors of trafficking and other forms of exploitation and children with disabilities).

Also, organisational vision, thrust areas, challenges and other contextual aspects constitute the key reference points in designing capacity building initiatives.

For frontline workers/those working directly with vulnerable children and adolescents
  • Recognising of handling Mental Health Problems
  • Coping with trauma
  • Life Skills
  • Communicating with other key actors (dealing with communities, local self government bodies, law enforcing agencies)
  • Care for care givers (stress and anger management, time and resource management)
For mid and senior level management
  • Human Resource management from a psychological perspective (assessment of mental health support needs of staff, staff retention, promoting leadership and team-work)
  • We have conducted training programmes and workshops for various NGOs. The topics ranged from recognising and handling trauma in vulnerable children, basic awareness of what constitutes mental health, programmes on basic counselling skills, case management and developing a framework and a module around the concept, child protection and assessment of problem areas vis a vis child protection, how to manage stress amongst staff etc.

‘‘Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.’’

– Mark Twain

Our Training Methodologies

  • Tailor-made to meet organisational requirements and needs.
  • Training needs assessment seen as a critical preliminary step.
  • Extensive use of workshops that enable instruction with reflection.
  • Utilise factsheets, hands-on exercises and other such methods to facilitate knowledge and skill building in a simple and effective manner.

We possess national and international experience of more than a decade across multiple settings (community, care homes, clinics and academic centres). Team members have worked extensively with children who have suffered abuse and exploitation. We have helped civil society organisations strengthen their care and support services within institutional and community settings. All our engagements are driven by holistic and rights based approaches. MHF believes in developing learning partnerships which facilitate mutual enhancement of capacities.

Acting on links between

Child Protection & Mental Health

Child protection and mental health are intricately connected. They constitute complementary areas of work within the broader social care domain.

Family systems have undergone changes as society moved from pre-industrial to modern times.. The changes have been apparent in the relationship between parents and child as well. The role of parents as primary caregivers have undergone changes and the child/children in families have been left to be nurtured/looked after by alternative caregivers. The links between the well being of a child, the role of caregivers and contemporary changes and their impacts, need to be understood in a particular context and in individual settings. Thus protecting a child from any harm is based on a multi-factorial framework.

Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is uniquely placed to support civil society organisations in designing and implementing such holistic interventions for vulnerable children across multiple settings.

Their caregivers – whether families or service providers in institutional settings – must be oriented accordingly. They too need support to cope with the demands made on them. Structural stress like poor housing, unemployment, social isolation, trapped in circumstances, threats to caregiver’s authority, values and self esteem –have enormous psychological impact on children and caregivers. Stress generated by the child- for eg., differently abled, unwanted, incontinent, difficult to discipline-often lead to the failure to protect children from harm.

We, at Mental Health Foundation, discuss interventional strategies, in partnership with caregivers, to cope with various such struggles.

Children who have suffered abuse and exploitation need support to deal with their trauma, regain self confidence and grow as healthy adults with vital life skills and employment potential. They must be able to access mandated services and entitlements. In fact, they are often unaware of their rights. Thus, they need multisectoral inputs in an integrated manner.Preventive and remedial measures, shaped by child protection and mental health, must also be prioritised for children who are at the risk of slipping out of the family/community safety nets.

Key Content Areas

Broad/Cross cutting issues
  • Linking Self to Specified Work
  • Gender Constructs
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Working with Children, their Families and other Caregivers in accordance with UN Guidelines and other relevant Statutes within a Child Friendly Environment
  • Care and Protection of Children in Institutional Care Homes and other settings (“looked after children”)
Child Protection
  • Understanding Child Protection in accordance with Organisational Policies and Standards and Good Practice Guidelines
  • Assessing and Addressing Child Protection Concerns
  • Linking Child Protection with Case Management
  • Case Management: Concepts, Tools for Assessment
  • Designing and Implementing Programmes
Mental Health
  • Helping Children Overcome Trauma and Abuse
  • Helping to Develop Insights into the Psychological World of Children and Understand Ways of Promoting Resilience and Reducing Vulnerabilities
  • Counselling Skills & Providing Supervision
  • Conflict Resolution and Anger management
  • Training Barefoot Counsellors


Seeking professional help when you notice persistent, uncharacteristic behavior in your family member or a friend is the wisest.

In children and young people

Delays in milestone acquisition, poor school performance, excessive use of gadgets, disruptive behaviour are the commonest reasons for seeking help.

In Adults

Poor work performance, anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts, stress related symptoms and memory problems are some concerns for which we can be consulted.

In The Elderly

Memory problems, depression, anxiety and personality change are symptoms for which people reach out.

Dealing with addiction, both to drugs, alcohol and gadgets, across the age span is also problem for which we provide therapeutic support and treatment.