Our Outreach Unit came to life in March 2016. It arose from an understanding that, in order to truly become a “community mental health service”, our therapeutic endeavours had to go beyond the therapy room, to be adapted to and shaped by various institutions, work places, collectives, teams, communities and so on. We do not promise to cure anyone’s distress – because mental health care does not come in one size that fits all. Instead, we hope to create and sustain safe and empathetic spaces – spaces where people feel free to express themselves, reflect, and engage in dialogue with each other.
Over the past 6 years, we have collaborated with various organisations through different mediums – individual counseling sessions, support groups, workshops etc – in an effort to help people explore their relationships with each other, and ultimately encourage a culture where work becomes more meaningful. We are yet to determine whether “work-life balance” is just a myth; but we do know that having mental health friendly spaces at work can provide the necessary support needed in order to keep up in today’s economy.
Here is a little primer on what our work looks like right now.
Every organization has unique needs and so we try to throw away the cookie-cutter and contextualise our services based on the people we are working with.
We try to begin with a series of interactions – through conversations, group sessions, questionnaires etc – in order to acknowledge and identify the needs of the employees at workplaces. This helps us formulate our understanding of the varied sources of distress, current perspectives on mental health, as well as the organisation’s expectations from us as a mental health care provider.
Counseling is a collaborative journey where one can talk, express, share day to day concerns, explore patterns, and reflect on their emotional and psychological difficulties with a professional in a therapeutic space. The number of sessions may vary depending on individual needs.
These groups act as shared spaces for individuals to explore their thoughts, feelings, and actions in relation to one another. The hope is that the group becomes a source of support during good times and bad. These spaces could take the form of support groups, theme based groups, therapy groups, or engagement groups using creative modalities (art, poetry, psychodrama, theatre, cooking etc.).
We curate experiential spaces for people to come and discuss relevant mental health related topics in a safe and reflective manner. We explore topics like empathy, self-exploration, interpersonal relationships, work-life balance, self-care, conflict management, assertive communication, managing change and transitions etc.
This service is available to an organization that requires immediate psychological help during a crisis. A crisis situation may involve (but is not limited to) the death of a team member, suicide attempts, self-harm, panic attacks etc. The aim is to provide psychological relief through support calls and/or face-to-face visits, facilitate quick decision making, and support the HR team in designing and implementing crisis management plans.
The past few years have been exciting. However, we want to learn more, and explore the different ways in which mental health intersects with different aspects of each one of our lives. If you are just as curious as we are about mental health and about creating safe spaces within your community, organisation, or institution or even if you are just concerned about the well-being of your employees, you’re not alone. We look forward to working with you.