Improving access to mental health services in Jammu & Kashmir
Co-Founder, Team Lead
The Mission Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has been in conflict for the last 80 years. 47% of women in J&K suffer depression, anxiety and PTSD. For 12 million citizen of J&K there are only 18 trained mental health professionals.
Our Process Along with a friend at Stanford we immersed ourselves in the lives of Kashmiris. We interviewed individuals across all walks of life, spent nights in the refugee camps, visited the weekly bombing sites, and stayed in a village at the border.
Our Work Based on our immersion, observations, qualitative and quantitative need-finding, we worked with a local NGO called Yakjah to hold a multiparty brainstorming session to identify solutions to improve access to mental health in the region. Along with a team of local students we prototyped Aashna - a digital platform that connects individuals with trained mental health coaches who help them along a courses in cognitive behavioral therapy. We offered text based interventions given the limited access to 4G when the state underwent spikes in conflict.
The Impact For the first time in the history of the state, we created a space to discuss mental health. We transferred our prototypes, ideas and work was transferred to a local NGO that is implementing some solutions to improve access to mental health in a meaningful way.