The Australian High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell, and the Consul General – Chennai, Sarah Kirlew, announced the Direct Aid Programme (DAP) Grant to The George Institute for Global Health India on May 10, 2023, in TGI India’s Hyderabad headquarters. The programme has a total budget of Rs 18,90,960. The George Institute for Global Health, India requested and received a DAP grant of Rs 9,90,960.
The initiative, titled ‘Strengthening Mental Health Systems via Action at the District Level,’ intends to train a select DMHP team in and around Hyderabad to apply systems thinking methodologies and tools to identify and address bottlenecks. In conjunction with important stakeholders, the George Institute for Global Health in India will direct the Mental Health project.
Weak Mental Health (MH) systems and practises play a significant role in service gaps. The successful implementation of the DMHP is critical for controlling the country’s high burden of mental morbidity. Several assessments and expert committee studies have found that greater governance, monitoring and evaluation, and research are needed to strengthen MH care.
The Australian High Commissioner to India remarked of the DAP grant to The George Institute in India, “I am pleased that we are able to support this important work through the Direct Aid Programme administered by the Australian Consulate General for South India.” Collaboration and mutual learning between Australia and Telangana to improve mental health care services will benefit best practise understanding in both countries.”
“The George Institute is working through a range of projects to generate actionable evidence to support the identification and management of mental health conditions,” said Professor Vivekanand Jha, executive director of The George Institute in India. We are glad that this effort has been facilitated further by the Australian High Commission to India’s Direct Aid Programme, demonstrating the two nations’ high level of collaboration in this critical sector.”
“This project will help identify some of the barriers in implementing the District Mental Health Programme and work with key stakeholders to facilitate the process using a health systems approach,” said Dr. Ankita Mukherjee, who will lead this from the Institute.
This program’s main aims and activities are as follows:
Understand the availability of mental health services, service gaps, and obstacles in DMHP implementation in one Telangana district: The DMHP and state mental health programme guidelines will be reviewed to identify essential programme activities and gaps.
Capacity building in key systems thinking principles and application of systems thinking Tools for identifying and resolving communal problems: Workshops with chosen district-level teams in and around Hyderabad to build capability in systems-thinking basic ideas.
Feedback and evaluation: A competency and feedback tool will be provided at the beginning and end of each workshop.