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Jun 30, 2015

CNMH Earthquake Response Report

clients living condition
clients living condition

A 7.9 Richter scale earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th causing the greatest destruction the country has faced in 80 years followed by a second strong shake of 7.3 Richter scale on the 12th of May, affecting 8 million people. Communities that were living in poverty even before the earthquake have been hit hard and men, women, children, people affected by mental health are most vulnerable in this time of emergency.

CNMH is working in the district of Lalitpur in Kathmandu valley facilitating appropriate support and treatment for homeless and mentally ill people, so that they can be accepted back into society. Before the earthquake, CNMH was working with 91 clients (50 men and 41 women) on the streets, working closely with 52 of individuals and has located families in 30 cases.

Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health (CNMH) went into action on the third day after the disaster struck to investigate and identify our clients’ need. The sporadic location of our clients and their displacement since the quake has made it difficult for us to locate them for assessment. However, out of 52 clients who we are working with; at this time we have managed to visit and provide basic help and psychosocial counseling to 42 clients including 10 new clients who were on the streets after the earthquake. Upon certifying the safety of our clients (few had minor injuries), our team started providing relief which included food and non-food iteams as well as psycho social counseling to carers as well.

Chhahari initiated a Post-Eathquake Response Activity project, which is divided into III phases. In phase I, we emphasize on assessing our clients living condition and to what extent earthquake affected them be it physically, mentally, financially and socially. Likewise, during this phase CNMH was also involved in distribution of relief materials like food, tarpaulins, blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, hygiene kits, first-aid kits and home prepared hot meals mainly to our clients.

As we worked upon phase I, we identified the need of the development of another phase; and in phase II, we mainly carry out the objectives of locating new clients and re-connecting them with their family/relatives. Likewise, this phase was also designed to carry out the process of working in co-ordination with the community in accessing clients’ living condition. Under this phase, CNMH plans to provide funds to help clients continue with the medication and to provide monetary support for carers treatment. However, we also identified the need for various psycho-social training programmes on stress management, peer support, counseling and community based psychosocial support, to be provided to the staffs and volunteers; to continue to develop in post-earthquake response activities with mentally distressed group. We plan to get more professional help to support staff and built their capacity.

In this way, as we process towards the phase II, we plan to work on these activities in order to extend and build-up the activities for phase III.

hot meals feeding day
hot meals feeding day
hot meals on the street
hot meals on the street
hot meals on the street
hot meals on the street
providing temporay shelter
providing temporay shelter
clients enjoying our welcome center sessions
clients enjoying our welcome center sessions
Apr 1, 2015

CNMH Carers Workshop Develoment Report

Using clay therapeutically
Using clay therapeutically

Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health have been building up on providing support to mentally ill people and their carers. Our Welcome center has been running for a year now and plays a huge role in the client support aspect of our work. We have realized that it is essential to have a carers support group for awareness and guidance whilst they themselves support mentally ill person/s.

Collaborating with Elijah Counselling and Training Centre (ECTC), Chhahari has been actively enhancing the creative skills of carers; who care for mentally ill people, and have agreed upon providing a 2-monthly carer’s workshop. So far, we have had three sessions with the ECTC psychosocial counselors. These session has helped Chhahari staff to build a closer bond with the carers by understanding them and their needs. These sessions are not only to help carers to enhance their self-esteem but also a learning experience for the staffs and volunteers. These activities have been designed to observe and enhance communication and cooperation skills.We have around 12 carers attending the sessions.

These workshops allow friends, family members and other carers the opportunity to meet others. The carers have found it comforting to know that other people have had similar experiences. These sessions cater for particular types of carers or family members as well, such as for children with parents who have mental illness or partners, parents or siblings.These sessions have proved to be of huge psychosocial importance and have also helped to build closer bonds as well as build up self-esteem amongst the carers.

As the number of the clients and carers has increased in the past few months, we managed to rent another room in order to get a larger space for the activities which are part of the workshop, and to make it more convenient for the clients, carers and staffs.

The first carers session used art therapy as an exercise of expression. Group art work (drawn and painted on paper) were used to create a story between all the participants.This was a way of helping the participants develop their imagination and to express in a way other than verbally.

The second carers session was clay therapy. Using clay to create pieces, the participants were asked to do excercises such as closing their eyes and decribing a positive experience. The feedback received from the carers for this activity was the release of tension and relaxation due to the chance to express their inner feelings.

The sessions are focused on group work, imagination, expression and relaxation. They have been a platform for the carers to express their emotions in various ways. They learnt to acknowledge and incorporate both the negative and positive aspects of the caregiving experiences.

These sessions have played a huge role in strengthening the support system of a mentally ill person, which is one of the most important factors in recovery. Gradually, we plan to include community based workshops and enhance our reach beyond Chhahari premises. We plan to get more professional help to support staff and build their capacity. This will also allow us to interact and integrate with other like minded organizations here in Nepal.

Using clay therapeutically
Using clay therapeutically
Using clay therapeutically
Using clay therapeutically
Dec 31, 2014

CNMH Progress report December 2014

Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health: Progress Report- December 2014

Chhahari has been gradually developing new approaches and activities to provide better support to our clients. These include primarily the Welcome Centre and various other activities that have evolved as a consequence of our interactions with clients, carers, volunteers, networks and community members. 

1.Continuation of the Street Project:

Emphasis has been placed on building trusting relationships, enabling staff to connect with people living and coping with difficult circumstances and to respond to the unique condition of each person. We have increased our services towards:

  • Continuation of regular home and field visits
  • Thickening of home and field visits around Kumbeshwor area, this area has a large number of people suffering from mental health condition. ( following up on 7 clients so far)
  • Regular follow up and communication being made with Aashadeep for the long term cases.
  • Regular follow up to the Patan Mental Hospital and Patan Hospital assisting clients and family for the treatments.
  • Locating new clients and interacting with more families and community members
  • To this date, we have worked with 86 mentally distressed clients

1. The Welcome center and its Expansion:

The Welcome Centre at Chhahari was opened in as a direct reflection of the needs of the men and women with whom Chhahari was in contact through the Street Project. Open on Wednesdays, it is a place where the mentally distressed and their carers can engage in indoor activities and take part in counselling sessions and creative classes. We have over 15 clients and carers attending the session.

Activities carried out at the Welcome Centre:

  • Draw/paint pictures; make greeting cards, photo frames, etc. The drawings are proudly displayed all over the walls at the Centre, individually signed by the clients.
  • Clients are also encouraged to write poems and songs, and to sing and play musical instruments.
  • Similarly, dance therapy activity was carried out, in which a dance teacher was appointed for the clients.
  • Clients are engaged in exercise and meditation sessions to help them relax their mind and body.
  • Making paper baskets and bookmarks, which we have managed to sell and is gradually increasing on demand.
  • In some sessions movies/ documentaries are viewed, weekly or monthly local and international news are discussed and newspapers and magazines are read by the clients.
  • Indoor games like puzzles, board games, etc and outdoor games like badminton and cricket and many other team building games are played.

 2. RTI Mental Health Project:

Implementation team:Students from Xavier’s College are involved. Focus of this project is to gain information regarding:

  • Allocation of funds for mental health in Government and NGOs
  • Procedures and criteria applied for NGOs to access funds for MH related activities
  • Which NGO’s received funds from Government for MH with amount received?

3. Media and Publication:

Progress in our :

  • Website, Facebook, YouTube
  • 12 minute video from Marathon 2013 on our Facebook and website.
  • 8 minute documentary launched and on our Facebook and Website.
  • Working towards building up our new Website.
  • Publication of Newsletter 2014

 4. Networking:

  • JCI (Junior Chamber International) Patan: This year they have donated clothes for our clients and carers. They now have proposed to donate clothes for our clients and their family members once a year.
  • Nepal Mental Health Network (NMHN): Working together with other Mental Health organisations that are active in raising issues on mental health in Nepal.
  • Patan Mental Hospital and Patan Hospital: Working in co-ordination with the Patan Mental Hospital and Patan Hospital assisting clients and family for the treatments.
  • Aashadeep Residential facility: Regular follow up and communication being made with Aashadeep for the long term cases.
  • Restless Development: Building our relation with Restless Development to increase our research capabilities and expand our reach in the community. A Talk Program with the Restless Development was held on the 6th of December.


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