A mental wellness centre in Bhubaneswar

RI President Gordon McInally inaugurated the Asha ­Centre for ­Mental Health set up by RC ­Bhubaneswar, RID 3262, in the city. The facility is set up in partnership with Manam Foundation, an ­Odisha-based NGO which has expertise in addressing mental health issues.

RI President Gordon McInally and Heather at the mental health centre with PDG Gajendra Singh Narang, DG Jayashree Mohanty, PDG D N Padhi and RI Director Anirudha Roychowdhury.

A full-time helpline is manned by counsellors recommended by the NGO. They will offer counselling and emotional support to individuals making distress calls, and help them through crisis intervention, suicide prevention and referrals to appropriate mental health services. In the next phase, “we aim to create a one-stop centre with expert professionals such as counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and alternate therapists under one roof,” said project chairman Bhumi Mohanty. The district has signed an MoU with the India Psychiatric Society, Odisha chapter, where its members will provide free consultation to patients at the Asha centre. In addition to individuals struggling with mental health issues, support in the form of resources and ­counselling will be provided to their families to help them cope and support their loved ones.

The club spent ₹7 lakh to renovate its existing building, constructed as part of a 3H grant project, to house the  centre. Mohanty estimates that the project will incur an annual recurring expenditure of ₹10 lakh. Going forward, a global grant proposal for scaling up the project to the second phase has been submitted to TRF. DG Jayashree Mohanty has promised to support the project through district grant and DDF for global grant. “We are working to organise CSR support to start running the centre,” said the project chairman.

RID Anirudha ­Roychowdhury and DG Jayashree were present ­during the inauguration of the centre in January.

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