Community Interventions

Historically marginalized groups ostracized due to their religious, caste, or ethnic identities continue to grapple with the social and emotional fallout for generations, a concept that’s known as historical trauma. Social change and psychotherapeutic interventions go hand in hand, providing stability, security, resilience, interdependence, and restorative opportunities during persistent social change. Community-based interventions focusing on health, gender, and other areas often run the risk of not impacting sustainable social change and perpetuating a cycle of poor outcomes; without considering this context and its potential to fortify social-change interventions.   

January – September 2022, Odisha

Project Aarzoo

Project Aarzoo aims to explore the cultural, systemic and psychographic fabric of aspirations among young professionals from Adivasi communities, towards bridging the aspiration-attainment gap experienced by them.

The lived experiences of young professionals from Adivasi communities are often loaded with physical, emotional, financial, and social insecurity. Inaccessibility to financial and social resources coupled with difficult narratives of familial social defeat can influence an individual’s personal & professional goals.

“Particular groups of young people – such as women, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and ethnic minorities – are more likely to experience an aspiration-attainment gap than other groups.” (Gutman et al, 2008, p. 16). This gulf is further widened by social as well as perceived personal barriers and obstacles. Interventions aimed at reducing this gap and resolving barriers can bolster the professional journey of disenfranchised youth in a positive manner.

Along with Gram Vikas, we are taking a multipronged approach of addressing intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental determinants of aspirations among their young professionals from the Adivasi communities – in an attempt to bridge the aspiration-attainment gap experienced by them.

Gram Vikas is a community development organization working with the rural poor and Adivasi communities, in Odisha and Jharkhand, to help them lead a dignified life. Under its Community Professionals Programme (CPP), young adults and alumni from Gram Vikas’ partner villages and schools are invited to work in the organization.

August 2021 to August 2022, BANGALORE

Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst is a pilot emotional well-being intervention that aims to build adaptive and coping skills among children and young adults from socio-economically and socio-culturally disadvantageous environments. It is a strengths-based framework rooted in trauma-informed care. 

Children and adolescents growing up in a socio-economically disadvantaged environment are, either directly or vicariously, likely to have been exposed to  multiple traumas physical and/or sexual abuse, neglect, community/familial violence, commercial sexual exploitation, bullying, social defeat and loss. When left unaddressed they can significantly impact & impair the child’s psycho-social well-being.  

Early stage mental health interventions are important for adolescents as they limit the probability of the onset of various disorders and they account for the distinct, transitioning experiences of each teenager into adulthood. In addition, early interventions also consider the adolescents’ interaction with environmental, social, familial and individual factors that are necessary to prevent disorders and promote good mental health.   

Project Catalyst is a pilot emotional well-being intervention that aims to build adaptive and coping skills among children and young adults from socio-economically and socio-culturally disadvantageous environments. It is a strengths-based framework rooted in trauma-informed care. 

Listen to the project facilitators describe their experience of designing and implementing this program

Barefoot Counseling

October 2021 to March 2022, Assam


Building primary level psycho-social awareness & trauma support mechanisms to address gender-based violence.

Our partner organisation’s HERrespect program addresses violence and harassment against women, both in professional and personal spaces and relationships. In order to create such gender-inclusive ecosystems, the emotional wellbeing of community members and the consequences of violence on the mental health of women needs to be considered. To bring in this perspective, a mental health component was brought in to HERrespect which was aligned with community social change, to create gender inclusive and mental health informed ecosystems. 

The aim of the program is to build counseling skills and a trauma-informed, survivor-centric approach among community gatekeepers towards creating an informed and supportive home and work ecosystem for survivors of genrder-based violence.

February 2021, Bangalore

Counseling Skills for Social Impact Leaders

The reality of mental health risks and the imbalanced ratio of mental health professionals to that of the population draws attention to the desperate need for Barefoot Counselling in India.

Specifically in the realm of social impact work, given their proximity with the communities they work with, most social workers often find counseling and mental health first-aid to have become a major part of their work. However, with the possibility of implicit biases, implicit stigma, inadequate understanding of basic self-care practices, a savior complex, cursory problem-solving approaches; they stand the danger of unintentionally re-traumatizing or exacerbating psychological distress in the communities they work with.

With quality mental healthcare being sparse and often culturally tone-deaf, the solutions tested through this program are capacity-building for Counselling along with self-Inquiry and self- Care skills, for social change leaders; enabling them to provide mental health first-aid to the trauma-impacted communities they work with. At its core, the programme was designed to develop a comprehensive & intersectional understanding of trauma informed mental health and prevent any form of re-traumatization during community work.

Safeguarding Policy for the Protection and Safety of Children & Vulnerable Adults 

Characteristics of our programmes

Tailor-made: We believe that one size does not fit all. Hence, all our programmes are designed based on the needs of our target population

Measurement-based approach: We follow a measurement-based approach to assess needs of our target population through interviews, assessments and close observation (before and during) the program implementation in order to provide better care and support. While an endline assessment is conducted to understand the impact and growth achieved by the programme.

Intersectional and trauma-informed: Mental health and well-being are deeply influenced by the social reality of an individual. Therefore, all our programs are developed through an intersectional lens and are trauma-informed.

Prioritization of preventative care and well-being: While it isn’t possible to stop all mental ill-health from developing, many mental health problems can be prevented with the right approach. Preventive aspect of mental health deals with identification, monitoring, and controlling risk factors. With our programs, we aim to initiate conversations around awareness and identification of different factors that constitute one’s mental health in an attempt to promote and enhance one’s well-being.

We strive to ensure our interventions are user informed. Your lived experience matters.

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