“Project Maanasi at Mugalur” is a joint humanitarian initiative of Rotary Bangalore Midtown, Rotary Howard West and St. Johns Medical College to provide quality community mental health care in rural India. Today the “Maanasi Clinic" at Mugalur village is serving poor women and children with varying degrees of mental illness by providing medical care to patients from 206 villages, 8 districts around Bangalore with a reach of 6 million households.

“Project Maanasi” is a humanitarian initiative by groups of Rotary Clubs from India and USA also funded through The Rotary Foundation to provide quality community mental health care in rural southern India.  Common mental disorders among women in rural India are associated with low education, poverty, lack of access to running water in the home, experiencing hunger, and difficulties making ends meet. This may lead to suicide, triggered by interpersonal problems, domestic disputes, and financial problems. Women outnumber men in completed suicides in India.

The awareness of lack of treatment is increasing in rural India especially among women. Mental disorders are highly prevalent, have greater effects on role functioning than other chronic physical illnesses. Project Maanasi is a solution to educate, train and treat women and children in villages in Southern India through humanitarian grants and services.
 
The Project sets out a number of cost-effective strategies to tackle the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in rural southern India. These include: screening of women from villages for psychiatric treatment, bringing treatment near to their homes, bringing medicine and medical assistance to women with varying degrees of mental illness. The project relies on partnerships to scale up services with the objective of reducing the burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders.
 
This long-term project was founded in 1999 by Rotarian Dr. Geetha Jayaram, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA. She pioneered this innovative concept of delivering quality mental health in rural India with a simplistic treatment practice involving health workers connected to the centrally located hub clinic “Maanasi Clinic”.
The first Maanasi Clinic at Mugalur village was started in November 2002 with Rotary Foundation matching grant programme, M.G#20594 of the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club of Koramangala and Rotary Club Columbia, Maryland, USA.
 
“Project Maanasi” today is a successful reality as the result of a dedicated efforts and close partnership between Rtn. Dr. Geetha Jayaram, St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore, and dedicated and sustained efforts by Rotary Club of Bangalore Midtown from 2004 onwards, along with the support from members Rotary Club of Howard West, USA,
The Project is running under the care of Department of Psychiatry and Community Medicine at the St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, who provide a dedicated team of doctors under the leadership and compassionate care of Dr.Ramakrishna Goud, and Dr. Pradeep Johnson of St. John's Medical College.
In the year 2002, the first “Maanasi Clinic” was established at Mugalur (as the Pilot Project), a tiny village 30 km outside Bangalore to provide integrated primary health care, depression, anxiety and other mental health care in the villages nearby. The center also serves as a center for all community services including a general health clinic, antenatal and postnatal care, childcare, services for the elderly, and for the blind and deaf. The center serves more than 30 villages as the nearest other medical care is 10 km away.
 
For full details, visit their website: http://projectmaanasi.org/
 
From the Maanaso Committee Chair, Ramesh Bulchandani: 
The “Maanasi Model” has been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the models for providing effective mental health care in developing nations. Let's adopt this in our community, society and villages and help millions of our needy patients.
From Dr. Geetha Jayaram, Founder:  
The humanitarian work of Rotary consists of three Cs:
·   a Cause or concern
·   a Critical solution or intervention and
·  a Credible team to execute the solution

The Maanasi project is an example of such life-giving work.
 
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