Salaam Baalak Trust - Mental Health Program
Salaam Baalak Trust provides street children with the opportunity to experience the joys of childhood through its various centers across Mumbai.
Salaam Baalak Trust has been addressing the needs and problems of street and working children belonging to different age groups and diverse backgrounds. But over the years it was realized that, apart from addressing the physical, educational and material needs of these children, efforts should also be made to address the mental health needs and problems faced by these children as a consequence of the diverse backgrounds and more often than not traumatic experiences that they have to undergo. Apart from this, it was also felt necessary to address the needs of growing children and adolescents. Keeping this in mind the Mental Health Program was set up in February 2003. It started with a core group of 4 members, headed by Dr Amit Sen, (MD- Psychiatry, MRC Psych, London; Specialist, training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UK). The Mental Health Program encompasses a Preventive Program that works through the formation of groups and the early identification of cases in order to help the children while going through the transition or stressful phases. This Program also attempts at training and supervising the staff at Salaam Baalak Trust and its various centers to enhance their counseling skills and mental health education in order to enable them to identify cases, refer them, intervene in a suitable approach and then document those cases in turn facilitating the growth and development of the children through specialized and individualized care to each and every child.
Summary of relevant work
Main Activities of Mental Health Program include:
- Individual Counseling Sessions
- Focus-Group Therapy Sessions
- Life Skills Education Workshop
- Career Counselling
- Staff Support Workshops
- Special Education
Common mental health issues addressed are:
depression, anxiety, gender dysphoria, learning difficulties, ADHD, post-traumatic symptoms, personality disorder, autism spectrum disorder, sexual abuse, behavioral issues, mental retardation, and mood disorders.
Different therapeutic approaches used:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Play Therapy, Arts Based Therapy, Psychodynamic Approach, Pharmacotherapy, Group Therapy, Family Therapy, and Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing.