The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health

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.

MISSION

Education
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. 
Research
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

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.