Mental Health Care in Nepal
SWIM FOR CHANGE visited Koshish in Nepal on 22 June 2019 as part of a privately funded program and we were privileged to be welcomed by Mr Matrika Devkota, founder of the organisation, KOSHISH, a non-governmental organization, working in the field of mental health in Nepal.
We delivered resources provided by the Department of Basic Education, Western Cape used by South African Schools, which may be replicated in Nepal as part of Koshish’s School Mental Health Initiatives.
We are extremely grateful to extend our involvement and Mental Health Activism Internationally.
We acknowledge that although mental health in South Africa is lacking in many ways, Nepal is lacking at a level far beyond this and we simply can’t restrain our desire to reach out to the people in this country.
We thank Mr Matrika Devkota and his team members for allowing us to share time at KOSHISH and we look forward to building our relationship in the future to help break the injustice of mental health discrimination.
The word "KOSHISH" means "making an effort”. Koshish is affiliated with, Social Welfare Council under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (Affiliation No. 25676) and registered in the District Administration Office, Kathmandu (Registration No. 086/065) in 2008.
In Nepal, mental health is one of the least prioritized areas of development.
Yet, mental health conditions trouble Nepalese at higher rates compared with the rest of the world. More than one-third of Nepalese experience some issues with mental wellness, including anxiety (28 percent) and depression (30 percent). Nepalese also have a high rate of PTSD—nearly one-third of the country suffers from the condition. Researchers have pointed this to a decade-long civil war that tore the country apart, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that shook the country in 2015, as well as a lack of mental health care throughout the country.
Stigma hugely impacts on seeking appropriate care in Nepal. People with mental health problems are generally poorly treated, pitied, and even despised in Nepal. Superstition is still prevalent in many communities and people in Nepal tend to hide their mental health problems due to fear of negative perceptions and isolation from society. Stigma escalates the amount of suffering. At the same time, people suffering from severe mental health and psychosocial conditions suffer human rights violations, are abandoned and often restrained with chains.
Since 2008, advocacy for inclusion and dignity of people with mental health and psychosocial issues and transforming lives of people living in vulnerable conditions, has been at the forefront of KOSHISH’s goals with UNCRPD, 2006 at its core.
For more information about this organisation, how it is making a difference in Nepal and how you can help, please visit their website.
Mr Matrika Devkota with family members who were abandoned in their most vulnerable condition - he now takes care of them as his own family. They are close to his heart and he is now a part of their life.