Home Again is a supportive and inclusive living program of The Banyan – a longtime partner of RIST. The Banyan has been working tirelessly since 1993 on supporting community members with mental health issues living in homelessness and poverty by providing them with opportunities to learn important life skills and reintegrate into their communities. And in India, where mental health services may be lacking, The Banyan is providing essential services to a vulnerable population.
One of several comprehensive programs, Home Again provides individuals with mental health illnesses an opportunity to live outside of institutions to build their day-to-day skills and re-enter into the community. The Home Again Program also provides positive pathways for individuals to be rejoin their family homes while supporting their independence to find a new place to call home. The rights-based approach is an alternative to institutionalization and works to fill a gap in the healthcare system and its disability rights scheme. It is a holistic model that has expanded its reach to several Indian states.
Through RIST’s support, The Banyan was able to develop a new building in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. The building was established to create a more integrated form of community living for the Home Again program. In addition to providing supportive living quarters, this center will function as a social care site to cater to the needs of the community it serves. The center will assist individuals with obtaining state-sponsored social entitlements and provide them with resources and skill-building training. It is designed both to facilitate life for those living there, but also to be a hub for advocates of mental health to train local activists and community members in addition to holding informational stakeholder meetings.
Together, The Banyan and RIST have been able to witness the change in attitude and behavior of the greater community as more clients have been positively addressed and more community members have supported their journey to independence. It is an ongoing challenge, but this partnership continues to move the needle on these key issues – to reimagine the narrative around people with mental health issues and create a dignified space for all.
RIST has been supporting The Banyan with several of its initiatives and is committed to creating meaningful impact that changes the lives of individuals struggling with mental health issues, as well as, expanding acceptance from the greater community. Through this partnership, RIST continues to uphold its belief that access to high quality services is a right for everyone and through our work together we can create a more equitable India which provides a physically and mentally healthy environment for all.