Mainstreaming mental health of persons affected by leprosy in the WHO Mental Health Gap Programme

On the eve of World Mental Health Day (October 10), Mr Bagival Pradeep Kumar, Head of Advocacy, The Leprosy Mission International (TLMI), shares his views on the need of leprosy and other NTD stakeholders advocating for the integration of mental health needs of persons affected by leprosy in the mainstream mental health services.

From hopeless to hope: You have a choice

The Bard’s words of wisdom proved right again in another place and another time – around 8,500 km away from where the Bard lived, in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, in 2017. The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s (TLMTI) SOAR project (SOAR stands for ‘Securing Opportunities towards Advancing Revenue’), while doing a survey in Rubanarayanallur village in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu to identify persons with disabilities who need project support for livelihood, came across six women, either with disabilities or having children with disabilities. For these women, the challenges of disability and the social exclusion were not the only problems.