Founded in 2007, The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) is a mental health and social science research and teaching institution. BALM is the sister organization of The Banyan, (www.thebanyan.org), one of India’s leading and high impact NGOs that pioneered comprehensive mental health solutions for poor and homeless persons.
The Banyan have been working over the past 2.5 decades in servicing mental health, psychological and social needs of persons in distress, especially persons living in poverty and homelessness with severe and persistent mental illnesses across 5 districts in Tamil Nadu, 2 districts in Kerala, and extended work with partners in Assam and N. Delhi. Its work is embedded in a culture of equity and social justice and its approaches range from provision of acute and emergency care in a rural and urban hospital based environment to 'wellbeing' directed community and clinic based comprehensive mental health solutions. The Banyan’s goals include early identification of distress, clinical care, psychological and social interventions, personal recovery, social inclusion, enhanced participation and exercise of personal agency and choice.
The Banyan has so far serviced a 10 lakh population, provided direct care to close to 10, 000 persons and has close to 4000 persons engaged in active care across 11 service access points. In addition, its hospital based services have catered to 2000 persons and currently house 150 persons, while its shelter services 60 persons and its inclusive and independent living options service 200 persons.
BALM takes forward The Banyan’s commitment to creating a just and equitable society through education, practice and innovation.