The growing need for psychosocial rehabilitation of the people suffering from mental illness and lack of such services in the northern part of the country motivated The Richmond Fellowship Society (India) to establish the Delhi Branch. Since 1999, the Delhi Branch of RFS(I) has been committed to providing holistic solutions beyond the pharmacological approach, to help individuals integrate back into society. A team of devoted professionals and illustrious mentors strive to empower the patients with skills to become self-reliant for a smoother return to normal living. RFSI Delhi runs a halfway home and a day care centre, which offer a range of services that includes patient care, counselling and carefully designed rehabilitation activities. Unlike a hospital setting, RFS believes in providing its members community living in a home-like environment and encourages the role of family members in the rehabilitation process. Unlike in a hospital setting, RFS believes in providing its members community living in a home-like environment and encourages the role of family members in the rehabilitation process. The Delhi branch is also actively engaged in creating awareness about mental illness and has evolved institutional arrangements to foster advocacy. An essential part of the activity is a well-established Outreach Programme, under which a weekly or monthly OPD service for mental patients with limited means is undertaken absolutely free of charge.
A home away from home for individuals suffering from chronic psychiatric disorders The centrepiece of the Delhi Branch of RFS(I) is "Vishwas", a home away from home, for chronic mental patients. Situated in the serene, lush green surroundings of Greater Noida city, the wholly-owned property has been custom-designed according to the medical needs of the residents and it provides a family-like environment where each patient is treated with care and according to their individual needs.
ROLE OF FAMILY
VISHWAS stands out among other hospital-like mental health facilities in that it is committed to providing a caring and loving home-like environment to its residents, in a non-judgemental and empathetic way. The participation of families of affected individuals is crucial for recovery of their wards. At VISHWAS, families of affected individuals actively participate and are appraised of the patient’s progress regularly. The families are involved in progress reviews of their wards. In these review meetings, the member, family and counsellors jointly discuss and plan goals for the next stage. Family members or the local guardian visit the facility every month. They also accompany the VISHWAS member in residential care for periodic psychiatric evaluations. The role of the carer in the rehabilitation process is vital in the RFS philosophy, unlike in other centres, where all contact is forbidden for considerable periods. The Vishwas programme not only encourages carers to visit their wards, but also includes regular and formal and structured periodic meetings between the carers, residents, programme staff and the governing council for feedback. In addition, a monthly report is mailed to the carer highlighting the progress of the patient/resident during the month.
In addition, a monthly report is mailed to the carer highlighting the progress of the patient/resident during the month. Carers Workshops have been a regular feature of VISHWAS since its inception. Earlier workshops have benefited from the expert advice of psychiatrists including Dr. S.K. Khandelwal, Dr. S. Kalyanasundaram and Dr. Satyavati Devi. The workshops encourage a dynamic environment, with suggestions welcomed from carers. In the past, speakers at the workshops have included noted TV personality Mr. Pankaj Pachauri and Lt. Col. K.K. Koul.
Ms. Elly Jansen
The Richmond Fellowship was founded as a therapeutic community in 1959 by Ms. Elly Jansen, a young theology student and social worker, at Richmond, England. The objective of the Fellowship was to provide community-based therapeutic care to individuals recovering from mental and emotional problems. Currently, Richmond Fellowship International has branches in more than 30 countries. It is the world’s largest network of community-based mental health service providers.
The Richmond Fellowship Society’s first India branch was established in 1986 when Ms. Elly Jansen set up a facility at Bengaluru. RFSI now has branches in Bengaluru, Delhi, Lucknow, Sidlaghatta and Ramanagra. The services offered by RFSI include short and long stay homes, day care centres and vocational training. Outreach programmes are also conducted in rural areas for mentally ill patients, primarily for the benefit of patients who do not have access to medical facilities. RFSI facilities are run based on therapeutic community principles and follow a collaborative, democratic and deinstitutionalized approach