The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health




The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health

Event Calendar

Sundram Fasteners Lecture Series The first Sundram Fasteners Lecture was held in 2020-21 where we highlighted the interplay between mental health and the culture of indigenous communities in India. This year, in the 2nd edition of the...
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Blog Posts

The Research Associate (Ethnographer) The Research Associate will be a part of BALM’s Centre for Research and Social Action(CSAR) focusing on Scale up research for Home Again models of care. Generating Evidence to support CSAR’s...
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Publications Coming Soon…
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The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) strives to bridge treatment and care gaps through research, social action and education, to build effective and ethical leadership in the mental health sector for vulnerable populations. BALM began in 2007, a decade after the beginning of The Banyan, as a knowledge hub to disseminate research on mental health and document best practices of The Banyan. It was established as an institution of learning, research, training, and more. The broader vision was to build a cadre of mental health professionals through training and education, inform policy & implementation programmes through research, and run pilot programmes to find scalable solutions through social action.


To educate, train, and nurture human resources in the mental health sector through a multi-disciplinary approach to cater to the vulnerable and disadvantaged population. 
To research on existing programmes and initiatives and find outcomes and hypotheses that can replicate and scale-up existing programmes meant to cater to the people at the intersection of poverty & mental illness.
Social Action
To create an inclusive space for populations and bring together different stakeholders on a platform to inform implementation in programmes through participation, research, and community engagement.


Research has been an integral part of BALM since its inception, and the primary objective is to shed more light on increased access to mental health care particularly in the context of socio-economically disadvantaged groups. Scalability and sustainability are essential tenets for BALM and The Banyan, and most of the research does focus on creating and running scalable models for mental health care, recovery and rehabilitation for the vulnerable population. 

Key research conducted by BALM:  

  • Impact of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) with women members suffering from varying degrees of mental illness, and the pathway to recovery for these women.   
  • Experience of clients and caregivers at the Primary Health Centre (PHC) in a specific district.  
  • Responsive mental health systems to address the nexus between poverty, homelessness, and mental illness.  

The objective of these and many other research papers was to predominantly understand different perspectives, lived experiences, challenges and roads to recovery for clients and the role of caregivers in the recovery process.   

News and Updates

Exploring narratives of mental health with young adults

In partnership with AISC Partnership between BALM and AISC - CareerX The Banyan Academy of Leadership and Mental Health and The Banyan partnered with the American International School Chennai (AISC) for their Career X internship. The partnership was...
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CTSI – Call for volunteers!

Since May 2021, The CTSI has been actively engaged in the training of young volunteers from psychology and social work backgrounds in grief and trauma related work as part of their ongoing GoTN initiative – Grief and...
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A New Partnership with SAJIDA Foundation

BALM (The Banyan Academy of leadership in Mental Health) and SAJIDA Foundation are pleased to announce their partnership, to increase the mental health care integration into primary care and the community. BALM is delivering a...
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Education is an essential vertical for BALM, as it fulfils an important objective of developing human resource in mental health that is equipped enough to adopt an inclusive approach to treatment and care. It is paramount to develop leadership potential, strengthen capacities, and create a cadre of capable mental health professionals and social scientists particularly catering to the vulnerable population. The existing treatment and care gap in the mental health sector and a lack of multi-disciplinarity in the current programmes being offered for the mental health professionals creates a significant presence for BALM in the education space. BALM has always shifted focus from theory-oriented learning to practicum enabled pedagogy for students. 

There are three centres in BALM that offer the following courses:

  Applied Buddhist Psychology 
Diploma in Community Mental Health 
Open Dialogue 
Masters in Social Work 
Masters in Applied Psychology 

Important Dates

Sundram Fasteners Lecture Series

The first Sundram Fasteners Lecture was held in 2020-21 where we highlighted the interplay between mental health and the culture of indigenous communities in India. This year, in the 2nd edition of...
Read More "Sundram Fasteners Lecture Series"

Open Dialogue Foundation course 2021

Sundram Fasteners Centre for Social Action and Research is pleased to welcome you to our 2021 Open Dialogue Foundation course. We are fully online with the course now, and with...
Read More "Open Dialogue Foundation course 2021"

Social Action

Social Action is a unique approach to training that combines education and capacity building with implementation and programmes. It is about the amalgamation of innovation and research to solve real-life issues in the mental health space for the vulnerable and disadvantaged population. Social Action ensures that programmes are constantly monitored, evaluated and measured against certain parameters to find the existing gaps/lacunae in them. Additionally, the lacunae/gaps are filled through innovative approaches, lived experiences, feedbacks and more.  


TVS Sundram Fasteners Limited supported BALM to launch the SFL Fellowship in the year 2019. It was conceptualized to bolster field-based learning through the learn-as-you earn model. This is the first of its kind fellowship in mental health in India, as it amalgamates practice with theory-based learning. The fellowship is dynamic as it focuses on individuals working in mental health, peer advocates and people who are passionate about mental health and development.