Mental illness is a Cinderella topic in Nepal, but it is on the increase. There is little understanding of what it means and how it can be treated and managed. Society views it as a source of shame and sufferers are often locked away or thrown out to live on the street. Chhahari is one of the few organisations working to change this and assisting those affected directly or indirectly by mental illness obtain an education. Based in small premises on the outskirts of Kathmandu, their volunteers identify and work with mentally ill people (clients) living on the city streets, building trust, helping them to access treatment and tracking down families (carers) to help them manage the situation. The work is slow as these people have spent years living on the margins of society, rejected by their families and communities. Many families are in despair, with no idea how to cope, but with the right treatment and support there is a chance for mentally ill people and their families to have a better life.
Why support Chhahari
Chhahari runs a “Welcome Centre” where clients and carers can come to socialise and practise simple skills such as art and music. KINOE contributes to the costs of skills workshops for clients and carers and provides funding for the education of young people who have been forced to drop out of school, either because of their own mental illness or that of a parent.
Chhahari is building on their practical work to raise awareness among the general public, government and the medical profession about mental illness and the fact that anyone can be affected and it can be treated, whilst assisting those affected whether directly or indirectly by mental illness, attain an education. .
Any donation, however small, can help this small organisation do more.