MHI's Work - Reframe 2022 | Mental Health & Climate Justice

MHI’s Work

MHI’s Work

  • Innovation |
  • Insights |
  • Philanthropy |
  • Challenges |
  • Lived Realities
  • COVID-19
  • MAP

Besides fulfilling its primary role as a grantmaking agency, MHI has included various endeavours within its work that utilise its strengths in knowledge creation, communication, and dissemination. We aim to engage with dominant knowledge critically while centring knowledge from the margins in all our initiatives.


Workplace Mental Health:

MHI launched a toolkit for corporate workplaces called Mental Wellbeing at the Workplace. The toolkit addresses mental health in the workplace by providing a framework that challenges the narrative that it is an individual issue. Instead, it introduces the concept of ecosystem stressors and how an organisation’s culture and ways of working can lead to mental health issues among employees.

Suicide Prevention Initiatives:

A groundbreaking report titled Suicide Prevention: Changing the Narrative was also released, which centred around building a comprehensive approach to tackling suicide in India. The report covers critical methods and evidence-based strategies for suicide prevention. It also offers tangible steps that various stakeholders can take to prevent suicides.

The Alliance for Suicide Prevention (ASP):

Seeded by MHI, the ASP brings together stakeholders, including organisations, activists, funders, researchers, and policymakers, to work collaboratively on preventing suicide at the individual and community levels.

Gender and Sexuality-Based Initiatives:

We published The Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP): A Resource Book for Mental Health Practitioners in India, the first of a series of anti-oppressive practice resource manuals for practitioners, educators and students, and those working on gender and sexuality. MHI also launched Building Allyship: The Mental Health Community and LGBTQI+ Rights – a report that showcases the queer affirmative mental health work undertaken during a High Court Judgement. The resource book is a guiding tool for mental health practitioners who want to build allyship and promote LGBTQI+ rights.

International Peer Support Practice:

Our first international peer workshop had activists from 10 South and South-East Asian countries. In collaboration with Asia Pacific Transgender Network, the workshop focussed on sharing systems and tools for participants to provide mental health support to their queer-trans community.

Youth Mental Health:

MHI collaborated with the Asia and South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), a regional network of more than 200 civil society organisations and individuals in 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region to provide training to build capacities of researchers on youth mental health. The training was translated into four languages and ASL for this cohort of 45 young people from 12 nations.


On the second anniversary of the lockdown, MHI launched Mental Health Diaries: COVID Stories, a series highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying lockdowns exacerbated psychological stressors. In addition, they highlighted how COVID impacted marginalised communities – caregivers, healthcare workers, and young persons, among others.

We also collaborated with BBC StoryWorks to produce two films:

  1. The first showcased MHI’s approach to funding community-based mental health — Atmiyata, a community-based mental health intervention in Mehsana District, Gujarat; and 
  2. The second highlighted helplines as service providers, showcasing iCALL, a project primarily funded by MHI since 2015. It provides mental health support through professional, accessible, and confidential counselling through the telephone, email, and chat to anyone in distress.  


MHI collaborated with the ASCENT Foundation to launch an Entrepreneur Mental Health Toolkit and Microsite focussing on entrepreneur mental health and wellbeing. The toolkit and microsite focus on unique stressors experienced by the organisational leaders, which can also be felt throughout the business, including the employees.

MHI, in collaboration with Sangath, launched DIYouth Advocacy— a complete guide to mental health advocacy for young people. The advocacy guide is developed by a group of young people, mental health experts, advocates, and technologists, including those with lived experiences of mental health needs.

MHI partnered with 48 organisations/collectives across 22 states to provide relief support through food rations, medicines, hygiene kits, vaccine awareness, rents, and bank transfers.


Manjula Pradeep, the founder of MHI partner WAYVE Foundation, was featured in BBC’s 100 Women of 2021. Two MHI partners—Iswar Sankalpa and the Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy, Pune, were also featured among the 25 good practices for community outreach mental health services worldwide by WHO guidance and technical packages on community mental health services in the same year.

MHI’s CEO, Priti Sridhar, was elected as a South East representative on the advisory board for Global Mental Health Action Network (GMHAN), a community of mental health professionals from across the world to improve support for mental health globally. In addition, Raj, MHI’s Director, was invited to participate in a panel discussion on community-led approaches to adapting and integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, organised by UNICEF East Asia and Pacific.

COVID Relief

The COVID-19 pandemic, further compounded by lockdowns, implicated that people had to undergo structural exclusion along with psychosocial distress. For MHI, this meant that its COVID relief efforts go beyond mental health support to include relief support within its ambit. Partnering with 48 organisations across 22 states, MHI funded food rations, medicines, hygiene kits, vaccine awareness, rents, and bank transfers. Smaller NGOs and collectives took centrestage in the outreach process as these organisations are often denied funding for relief work.

We provided relief support to 28 NGOs, CBOs, Collectives, and individuals

  • Advocate Rajesh Kumar
  • Advocate Gordhan Ram Jayapal
  • Adivasi Mahila Aapsi Madad Pahal
  • Agadhbodh Foundation
  • Ambedkarite Women’s Era
  • Anubhuti Trust
  • Bharathamatha Family Welfare Foundation
  • Burans
  • Devadasi Vimochana Vedike
  • Disha
  • DLR Prerna
  • Education Society Chamba
  • Ekjut
  • Future Vision
  • Gram Parivartan Prabodhini
  • Indigenous People’s Collective
  • Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan
  • Jeeva
  • Karnataka Vikalachetanara Samasthe
  • KOSISH Charitable Trust
  • Lok Kalyan Pratishtan
  • Manav Vikas Sanshodhan Kendra
  • Moitrisanjog
  • M/s Vasantham Maatru Thiranaligal Group
  • Muzaffarpur Vikas Mandal
  • Nirangal
  • Nirdhar Samajik Sevabhavi Sanstha
  • Ohana
  • People’s Voice Korav
  • Purva Bharati Educational Trust
  • Raahi
  • Reconstruction and Development Society
  • Roshan India Foundation
  • Sadbhavana Trust
  • Sahara Sakshrta Educational & Social Welfare Society
  • SamajikShodhEvamVikas Kendra (SSEVK)
  • Sangvari Gond Youth Network
  • Save the Destitute Foundation
  • South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAP)
  • SSK, UP
  • Voice for Peace
  • Volunteers in Saharsa
  • Wavye Foundation
  • Women Centre
  • Ya_All: Youth Network
  • Yusuf Meherally Centre

Vulnerable marginalised communities:

  • Persons with Disability
  • Adivasi/NT/DNT communities
  • Persons living with long term illness – Physical/Mental
  • Ante-natal persons/post-natal persons
  • Children living in tea gardens
  • Persons living on streets
  • Dalit/SC/Bahujan
  • Marginalised religious communities
  • Transpersons/ LGBTQIA+ community
  • Daily wage earners
  • Domestic workers
  • Persons from the Devdasi community
  • Persons living with HIV/AIDS
  • Persons living in urban bastis
  • Sex workers

COVID Impact Map


People supported: 28560

CBOs, NGOs, Collectives
and Individuals: 48

States: 22

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Gujarat
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu And Kashmir
  • Jharkhand
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Manipur
  • Odisha
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Telangana
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
  • West Bengal