Social Action & Public Policy

This unit constitutes the fulcrum upon which The Banyan Academy’s goal of bridging the treatment and care gap will be met. The training and research arms of The Academy will feed into a wide range of social action and public policy initiatives that are sustained by students, volunteers, peer-workers, and faculty.

By ensuring access to information across different sections of society, we aim to build a civil society movement that can mobilize resources and advocate for evidence-based care in poor regions. The incubation of the Movement for Global Mental Health at The Banyan Academy also creates a platform to share erstwhile unknown perspectives, especially from people with lived experiences in the global south, that transcend oft-repeated and cyclical debates centered around northern definitions of human rights, well-being, and functionality, to more locally prevalent narratives that will spur change. This is especially relevant while framing the role of a mental health professional, who is traditionally trained to be apolitical and distanced from the community and environmental realities to deliver care rooted in “western” established theories of recovery and well-being. This knowledge will feedback into the academy’s pedagogy and research.