Founded in March 2014, the White Swan Foundation aims to provide patients, caregivers and others with well-researched content that will help them make informed decisions on how to deal with mental health issues. The White Swan Foundation team looks to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations across the world to bring to you the best-in-class knowledge on mental health.
Summary of relevant work:
- In 2014, we launched India’s first portal on mental health: www.whiteswanfoundation.org. We cover issues across the spectrum of mental health including information on psychiatric illnesses, substance abuse, suicide prevention, and more importantly wellbeing. Our content is available in 5 vernacular Indian languages in addition to English.
- We run a variety of online campaigns through our social media channels. In this regard we package our content to meet the needs of specific communities or to address specific issues such as perinatal mental health, exam stress and anxiety, and mental health at the workplace, to name a few. Some of these can be viewed here: http://www.whiteswanfoundation.org/spotlight/.
- Gradually we also began engaging with our audience offline. We conducted a workshop for teachers on their role in promoting their students’ wellbeing: http://www.whiteswanfoundation.org/teachers-role-in-mental-health/.
We are also in the process of training community health workers on how to identify mental health issues with the goal of promoting early interventions.
- In 2016, we created a new platform – Moving Minds. In our endeavour to generate more conversation around mental health, we began a series of engagements with the public to uncover the mental health landscape through popular arts and culture. We ran three thematic events across the city of Bangalore to explore how views on mental health have been expressed through music, literature and culture.
As part of this movement, we also worked with a popular Indian folk-rock band Swarathma, to create a song that directly addresses the stigma associated with people who have mental health issues, and the exclusionary attitude that the common man has. The song is called “Main unme se nahi hoon” which translates to “I am not one of them” (from the perspective of the common man who thinks that people with mental illness are not his problem). The song can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFRE0gDefgg.