Years of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir have taken a toll on people’s mental health in the state. According to a survey conducted by MSF in 2015, nearly 1.8 million adults (45 per cent of the adult population) in the Kashmir Valley show symptoms of significant mental distress. This is compounded by the stigma associated with mental illness.
WHAT WE DO
MSF has been providing free, high-quality counselling to people affected in the valley since 2001. Currently, our teams provide counselling services at hospitals in four districts – Baramulla, Bandipora, Pulwama and Srinagar. To combat the stigma associated with mental illness, MSF teams also raise awareness on the importance of mental health and the need for availability of mental health services in the valley.
MSF in collaboration with a local association conducted psychoeducation sessions for groups of pellet gun victims. Similar sessions were also organised for schools across the valley with an aim to educate the audience about the importance of mental health, signs and symptoms of mental disorders, various coping mechanisms that can help combat such conditions and the need to seek help from professional counsellors if need be.
MSF counsellors continued to provide free, high-quality counselling to those affected in the district hospitals in Baramulla, Srinagar, Bandipora, Pulwama; sub-district hospital in Sopore and SKIMS Soura in Srinagar.