In collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) and the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, United Way Delhi organized “Svasti: A National Consultation to Create a Mental Health Services Roadmap” at NIMHANS, Bengaluru. The event gathered prominent mental health specialists from academia, government, private sector, and civil society to discuss current scenarios, experiences, and proposals to enhance mental health services across different levels.
The term “Svasti” is derived from Sanskrit, meaning “may you prosper.” The consultation succeeded in discussing various obstacles in providing affordable mental health services to the most at-risk and marginalized communities. It offered a one-of-a-kind platform for a diverse group of people working on different aspects of mental health services and target populations. The consultation’s first segment focused on the challenges in access to and quality of mental health services, particularly for women, children, youth, and informal sector workers. The second segment centered on the challenges and recommendations related to mental well-being, with an emphasis on strengthening policy implementation and understanding emerging technological interventions.
Commenting on the consultation, Dr. Pratima Murthy, NIMHANS Director, stated, “On March 28th, 2023, United Way Delhi, in partnership with NIMHANS and the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India, conducted a National Consultation on Mental Health called Svasti. Svasti included four panel discussions addressing vital mental health matters and outlining solutions to ongoing challenges in the field. Panelists and moderators from various areas of expertise collaborated to make policy recommendations, suggest decentralizing mental health care services, and promote more user-friendly and family-centric approaches that would contribute to a more equitable, accessible, and approachable mental health system for everyone.”