Mental Health

Pain Is Real, but So Is Hope

People with mental health disorders in India face overwhelming social stigma, a scarcity of care, and a lack of understanding. Many times, people struggling with psychosocial disabilities are kept hidden at home or are taken to “traditional” healers or those who practice witchcraft. There is little understanding about mental illness and the medications and care that can allow sufferers to live a normal life.

EHA provides care for people with mental health disorders at all of their hospitals, seeking those who need help and walking alongside them as they receive treatment. There are also six EHA mental health community projects operating across North India, bringing hope and healing to those in need.

From Ignorance to Insight


Pinku was just 19 years old when he began to struggle with hallucinations and delusions of persecution, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was treated with medications, but when he developed cataracts, his family thought that they were caused by the medications, so he stopped taking the prescription. Eleven years went by with Pinku struggling to function.

Then Herbertpur Christian Hospital held a mental health camp, and a volunteer brought Pinku. He was taught about his illness and the need for consistent medications. The staff began to care for him and make sure his treatment was effective. Both his cataracts were removed at the hospital.

Seven years later, Pinku is functioning well, with his eyesight back and his social skills improved, and he has a desire to get back into his profession of tailoring. EHA project staff are helping with this as well, arranging for him to receive a sewing machine so he can begin to work once more. Pinku’s life has been totally turned around by the mental health care he received through EHA, and the ignorance both he and those around him had about mental illness has been turned to insight.

Finding Peace in the Home

Their home was filled with strife. Husband Mohammed came home every day from pulling a rickshaw in the scorching heat of summer or the freezing winds of winter, always filled with frustration, anger, and stress. He took this out on his wife, Noor Johan, and his daughter, Muslimah. Passersby could hear fighting most nights in their home, and the family’s relationships were in tatters.

Then Noor Johan heard about EHA’s parenting classes and began to attend with Muslimah. Eventually, they talked Mohammed into coming. There they learned how to understand and show respect to one another, and how to solve conflict. The family took these ideas to heart—and began to sit and eat dinner together while talking about their problems and finding possible solutions. Mohammed is often seen smiling now, and he works hard not to bring his work frustrations home but just to enjoy time with his family.

At first, Muslimah was hesitant to go to the meetings and would hide in the restroom. EHA project staff came and chatted with her to help her feel comfortable joining the meetings. There she came to understand that girls are just as important as boys and have the capability to do something with their lives. She also learned how to be confident, praise others, and be positive about situations. Her relationship with her parents began to improve; now she is happy to be able to share about her life with them.

Muslimah’s older, married sister came to visit for two months, also attended the sessions, and began to learn how family relations could be improved. When she began to apply what she learned with her family back home, her mother-in-law was astonished at the changes. She, too, wanted to learn and apply these principles in her home. So the EHA teaching that began with Noor Johan has now spread to bless multiple families.

Now that Muslimah’s parents have learned the importance of valuing girls and providing them with education, they have sent her back to school. Muslimah is now a confident young achiever who recently passed her exams with flying colors. She is grateful for the parenting classes that transformed her family and helped her come out of her shell and see her personal potential.

About EHA’s Mental Health Program

Each of EHA’s hospitals offers care for people with mental health disorders, seeking those who need help and walking alongside them as they receive treatment. There are also six EHA mental health community projects operating across North India, bringing hope and healing to those in need.

The program objectives include:

~ building psychosocial resilience for youth through curriculum

~ identify people in need, refer for treatment, and follow up

~ reduce stigma associated with mental health issues

~ improve access to care and rehabilitation through support groups, livelihood training

~ family training for lifelong health—focus on reducing violence against children

~ suicide prevention; support groups for survivors