The innovation offers shared housing in scattered neighbourhoods with supportive services facilitated by an on site lay worker trained and supervised by a multi disciplinary project team. Components include:
- an environment of "home" with a mix of fun, leisure, relationships, spontaneity, participation, shared workload, conflicts, and resolution
- co-planning and facilitation of living experiences with personal meaning
- access to vocational/employment opportunities
- opportunity for social and economic connections, familial and non-familial
- access to health services
- onsite assistance in daily living if necessary
Repeated reports in the mainstream news and evaluations by the National Human Rights Commission1, with the exception of a few hospitals, paint the picture of a persisting problem of lack of rehabilitation options and long stay users in several state hospitals across India. 38% of people in state mental health facilities in India have a duration of one or more years of stay2. In facilities such as The Banyan's, while a majority choose to and are able to go back home, a small percentage remain in the institution, several on account of intellectual disability. In the last twenty years of running a transitory hospital based rescue and rehabilitation system for homeless women with mental illness, The Banyan has found approximately 11% of such individuals not exiting the system any way, having no family, choosing not to go and concurrently experiencing long term needs that deter independent living.
Home Again envisions the facilitation of long term care in alternative living spaces, through shared accommodations with supportive services, for women with mental disorders, who were once homeless and experience long term needs. It involves the facilitation of housing and range of supportive services for inclusion into the rural socio-economic fabric through strong inclusion linkages with stakeholders in areas of local governance, employment, entitlements and social activity. Through this approach, we aim to sustainably and in an cost effective manner address the issue of long term care in mental health; and thereby provide pathways for rehabilitation of people in institutional spaces, improve their quality of life, mental health outcomes, community functioning and promote human rights. This will address the challenge of appropriate and humane care for those most marginalised on account of homelessness and serious mental disorders and will most meaningfully contribute if scaled up to address the issue of long stay in state mental hospitals. Therefore, such an approach has the potential to contribute to transformative institutional reform on the one hand, while on the other promote social inclusion and positive notions of mental health in rural communities by setting up potential evidence of outcomes in people with high mental disability.