With a mission to create awareness on mental health in India, Neerja Birla along with daughter Ananya Birla, today announced the launch of Mpower Centre: in South Mumbai. Also, involved in this noble cause is Dr. Zirak Marker, a leading child psychiatrist who will help in building this holistic centre to create awareness and alleviate stigmas towards mental health.
Mental health problems are likely to become a global disease in the 21st century. In India, one in five Indians and around 15 to 20 % of all children and adolescents suffer from mental disorders. For 20 million Indians, our country only has 3000 qualified mental health practitioners. Additionally, WHO predicts that 20% of India’s population will suffer from some form of mental illness by the year 2020. The Mpower Centre is a world-class, multi-disciplinary institute, providing assistance, accurate diagnostics, treatment, and support to children, adolescents, their families and caregivers. The centre aims to build a society that accepts, understands and supports people with mental disorders.
Commenting on the occasion, Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Mpower said, “In India, there is a huge stigma attached to one suffering from mental illness, which leads to immense struggle for individuals and their families. Also, most of such problems go undetected due to lack of awareness and education on mental healthcare. The Mpower Centre offers world-class healthcare to those in need with resources and information, training and guidance, diagnostic evaluations, therapeutic interventions and psychological counselling, all under one roof.” Elated with the steady progress of the Mpower Movement that has seen a crucial milestone by way of the centre launch, Co-founder and Vice-Chairperson Ananya Birla reaffirmed, “This cause is very close to my heart.”
Dr. Zirak Marker, Medical Director, Mpower, added, “Many a times psychiatric, psychological and emotional problems often go undiagnosed and untreated as people attribute their condition to their circumstances rather than a treatable medical condition. Adding to the already existing stigma are myths and misconceptions about psychiatric and psychological treatments that further deter families from seeking help. At the Mpower Centre, we encourage patients to treat and accept the mental illness which will ultimately help them to live a more meaningful, productive life but most importantly with respect and dignity. The centre has a dedicated space for children and adolescents to freely open up and express their feelings through alternative means and allied therapies. We intend to create a rich network of professionals and organisations, to empower people living with mental health concerns and psychosocial disabilities.”
The Mpower Centre team includes Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Clinical Psychologists, Community Health Workers, Child Psychotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Special Educators, Educational Psychologists, as well as Art, Music and Drama Therapists. There will be a multi-disciplinary team providing a specialised service for children and adolescents with more severe, complex and persistent disorders. The Mpower Centre will be a single window operation to develop an effective model for child and adolescent mental health.
The Centre acts as a support to parents, teachers, professionals, educationists or interested individuals, with information related to mental health conditions which will lead to a better understanding & awareness with regard to the same. The Mpower Centre will comprise wolrd class primary mental health workers, psychologists and counsellors working in GP practices, paediatric clinics, schools and youth services.