Many children living in the Udayan Ghars have experienced a deep sense of loss in the past and suffer from the trauma of being abused, orphaned or abandoned by their loved ones.
Mental Health - A Fundamental Need
Reactions to trauma vary. Often children have trouble getting along with others and can become closed and withdrawn. Some develop anxiety, depression or aggressive behaviour while others may experience developmental delays leading to poor performance and integration at school.
At Udayan Care, we realise that children need much more than just fulfillment of basic needs and loving care to heal them
Our Mental Health Programme, based on UNICEFs recommendations, aims to help the children deal with their past and prepare them for their future by building their sense of security and self-esteem and ability to cope
How the Programme Works
Dr. Deepak Gupta, one of Indias best known Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists helped Udayan Care set up its Mental Health framework, supported by our long-term partners, Home of Hope, USA. Today our mental health team includes:
- Dr. Monisha Nayar-Akhtar, a renowned Psychoanalyst working with children & adolescents in USA
- Social workers cum counsellors trained in the care and protection of vulnerable children.
- Mentor Parents and caregivers who are involved in the daily upbringing of the children.
Training to Help Us Care Better
The people who look after the Udayan children social workers, Mentor Parents and caregivers undergo regular training and interactive workshops, conducted by the best mental health experts. These workshops ensure our children receive sensitive and supportive nurturing even as they are guided to a life of independence. Regular research is conducted to test the outcome of these workshops.
Over time and with constant encouragement, children who were apprehensive when they arrived at the home, learn to trust. With support, they progress towards recognizing their strengths, reflecting a new sense of self.
Udayan Cares Mental Health Programme is based on UNICEFs recommendations on best practices for orphans, which include:
Workshop Methodology for the Care Team
Issues as varied as aspects of child development parenting skills to creative art therapy, make sure Udayan Care's care team understands and handles the psychological needs and behavioral issues of children.
Regular sharing meetings amongst social workers, Mentor Parents, caregivers and children across all homes help them imbibe a similar set of values, while developing healthy coping mechanisms.
Monthly video conferences with overseas experts on specific cases and in-house para-counselling courses help build capacities of Mentor Parents and professional staff in becoming better counselors and carers.
One-on-one counselling builds trust and helps the child learn to cope with his/her insecurity in more positive ways. Group discussions and group activities help build self-esteem and confidence in the children which is an important part of their healing.
The impact of our Mental Health Programme becomes visible when participants feel a difference in their own lives as well as those of the children.
Tracking Children's Progress
The Individual Progress Plan (IPP), developed by Udayan Care, assesses improvement and digression, if any, in each child.
Each child is assessed on parameters like academics, hobbies, leisure, cognitive development, communication skills, emotions & temperament and personality traits. Comparisons over a period of time help us take timely action.
Research on Udayan Care's Mental Health Programme
Udayan Care has conducted some vital research studies to ascertain perceptions of neighbouring communities and teachers at school towards our children. Studies were also conducted to gauge the level of constructive change that Udayan Ghar has made in the lives of children.
- Strengthening protection and care of orphans and other vulnerable children within their extended families and communities
- Enhancing capacity of families and communities to respond to the psychological and social needs of orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers
- Focussing on the most vulnerable children and communities, not only those orphaned by AIDS
- Paying specific attention to the roles of boys and girls, men and women and addressing gender discrimination
- Strengthening schooling and ensuring access to education
- Accelerating learning and information exchange