Established in 1993, The Banyan has serviced mental health, psychological and social needs of persons in distress, particularly persons living in a state of poverty, homelessness and with severe and persistent mental illnesses. It adopts both a person-centric and health systems approach embedded in a culture of upholding social justice and equity. Over the last two decades, The Banyan has developed a range of innovative, appropriate and comprehensive approaches to mental health care, particularly for low resource settings, including emergency and therapeutic care services in institutions and through open shelters, wellbeing oriented preventive and promotive care services (through outpatient clinics) and inclusive living options for persons with long term care needs (graded levels of supportive services with housing).
The Banyan operates across five districts in Tamil Nadu, two districts in Kerala, and is engaged in extension work with partners in Assam, Mumbai and New 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 rural and urban hospital based environments to 'well being' oriented community and clinic based comprehensive mental health solutions, where goals include pursuing personal recovery, social inclusion, enhanced participation and exercise of agency and choice. The Banyan has serviced a 7 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 130 persons, while its shelter services 50 persons and its inclusive and independent living options service 200 persons.
The Banyan has created a strong impact through its innovative and humane care services, way different from traditional approaches.The Banyan has developed path breaking approaches to mental healthcare and is the largest and leading care facility in SEAsia. The Banyan's residents, past and present, stand testimony to the curative impact of individual dignity and social inclusiveness, a value that The Banyan incorporates in all its services without fail.