In today’s world psychosocial health has assumed great importance as an overall determinant of community wellbeing. Being compounded by the COVID 19 pandemic, existing healthcare and social welfare systems, are now realizing the importance of mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) for people from all walks of life at the primary level.
UNICEF Assam in partnership with MIND India has embarked on a path for application of the MHPSS model to promote and bring about the much needed positive health and wellbeing seeking behaviour within members of the community through SAMARTHYA, a programme to develop, institutionalize & capacitate community based mental health and psychosocial support structures.
This programme will aim at capacitating the facilitator group under ABITA tea community welfare initiative and the peer leaders of the adolescent collectives within the tea estates in eight tea districts of Assam on MHPSS.
It is envisioned that the tools provided in this toolkit would allow for the growth of resilience amongst the target group by promoting mental health awareness and assist in the development of a framework for psychosocial support at the grassroot level and would thereby enable formation of pathways for referral.
The content is designed as a two pronged strategy which on one hand will enable the facilitators to address
MHPSS needs, as and when needed. On the other hand, it will capacitate the peer leaders of the adolescent
groups in establishing a community based MHPSS model. This would help ongoing efforts to bring about the
desired social and behavioural changes in so far as building a protective and positive environment for children
and adolescents, is concerned. The peer leaders will be called the MON XOKHIs which in the Assamese language
means MON= mind, XOKHI=friend or confidante.